The dilemma of eudaemonic legitimacy in post-Mao China


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32 Citations (Scopus)


The post-Mao leadership of China turned to a strategy of eudaemonic legitimacy after the earlier strategies of ideology and revolutionary charisma were perceived to have failed during the Cultural Revolution. Yet this new strategy created significant long-term problems. The shift to defining socialism in terms of increasing economic productivity eroded the Communist Party's claim to a monopoly on political expression while the willingness to subordinate other values to rapid economic growth weakened social cohesion and created new political problems because of the contradictions between the regime's policies and the population's continuing acceptance of many socialist norms. The current resort to authoritarianism and a nationalistic foreign policy are symptomatic of the depths of the legitimation crisis in which the Chinese leadership finds itself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-439
Number of pages19
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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