China's Democratization Prospects: A Comparative Analysis   [open pdf - 577KB]

From the thesis abstract: "The prospects of China democratizing have garnered much interest and assessment. The increased interest is attributed to an increasing Chinese impact not only on the region, but globally as well. While China has experienced three decades of fast economic growth, political reforms continue to lag behind economic reforms. With its legitimacy weakening progressively, a transition in political systems in the largest country in the world would have wide ranging implications in the political, economic and social spheres. Many have argued that economic growth is the main precursor to democratization. However, it is suggested, neither growth nor the resulting social phenomena are sufficient to bring about a democratic change in China. Drawing inferences from Taiwan and South Korea, this study seeks to examine the democratic transitions of both countries to shed light on China's prospects for democratization. It further concludes that China's prospects for democratization is bleak due to the resiliency of the regime, and any democratic transition would have to be elite-driven."

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