Bruce Dickson - Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University
The Chinese Communist Party’s embrace of the private sector has been a key part of its efforts to promote economic development. At the same time, it has brought new interests and new people into the political system. Drawing on original survey data, this talk will show how the integration of political and economic elites is creating a convergence of policy views among local officials and private entrepreneurs. In addition, it will show how the rapid growth of the private sector, the increased prominence of entrepreneurs in the political system, and the formation of more autonomous and politically active business associations are affecting the relationship between the party and private sector, and ultimately the prospects for political change. Rather than being potential agents of change, China’s entrepreneurs are proving to be a key source of support for the party’s agenda.