Party vs. State in Post-1949 China: The Institutional Dilemma

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This book provides the most comprehensive analysis of one of the most important issues in China today: the tensions between the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese state legislative, judicial, administrative, and military institutions. Taking the 'neo-institutionalist' approach, the author suggests that the Communist Party in post-1949 China faces an institutional dilemma: the Party cannot live with the state, and it cannot live without the state. Zheng demonstrates that it is not only conceptually constructive, but analytically imperative to distinguish the state from the Communist Party. Secondly, he integrates detailed study with broader generalizations about Chinese politics, thus making efforts to overcome the tendency toward specialized scholarship at the expense of comparative and systemic understanding of China. He also opens a new dimension of Chinese politics - the uncertain and conflictual relationship between the Communist Party and the Chinese state.