Xi Jinping's China:On the Road to Neo-totalitarianism
1 (Spring 2019)
203 - 230 p.
China, Xi Jinping, politics, totalitarianism
more than a whole cycle of the chinese zodiac has elapsed since the special issue of Social Research, “China in Transition,” was published in 2006. After 12 years, China’s transition is not towards democracy but towards a kind of neo-totalitarianism. During this period, Liu Xiaobo, who had written in that issue on the growing influence of civil society, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and died in prison, while his wife was placed under house arrest for almost a decade. The year 2008 was a watershed, as the financial crisis dealt a serious blow to the Washington Consensus, while the successful organization of the Olympic Games by Beijing impressed the world. The Chinese leadership used this opportunity to become more assertive on the international scene, presenting its regime as a credible alternative to Western democracy and the market economy that had led the world to an unprecedented crisis. Liu Xiaobo’s dream of a strong civil society capable of putting an end to the Communist Party’s dictatorship has vanished...