The Role Of Democratization In China

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Democratization prospects for China have long been debated. How, if ever, will China change gears toward becoming a democratic society? Since World War I, many countries in Eastern Europe and Asia were met with a tremendous change in political climate as their communist regimes collapsed and citizens prepared to uphold the victory of democratic values. This, understandably, brought about much curiosity about a potential future fall of the Chinese communist party and China’s future prospects for a functional liberal Democracy. One of the most important factors to take note of is China’s dramatic economic growth spanning the last 20 years, a growth that has positioned China’s future towards becoming one of the largest economies in the world. …show more content…
They are advocating the right to work, right to education, the right to access public information, as well as the right to religious liberty and complete freedom of expression (Geddes, 319,321). This emergence of a middle class in China comes with higher education levels and a complete change in both political and social structure. This, in turn, produces a more politically conscious civil society. This new politically conscious society is more politically involved, more interested in political change, and thus more interested in propelling a democracy. The United States has had an incredible impact on these prospects. With China’s ever growing economy in technology and the media, the West’s democratic ideals are inevitably brought to light. On top of this Western influence, the power of the internet provides a channel for which the Chinese can voice their discontent. This sort of voice, a voice that is rapidly spread through websites like Twitter and Facebook, challenges the Chinese communist party’s choices, as well as its tight censorship and authoritarian ideals. This spread of discontent may prove to be influential in changing China’s political climate and the communist party may be more susceptible to conforming to a more Western …show more content…
5). The communist party continues to have an extremely powerful control over China and even if enough interest amounted for democratization, the social organizations within China are weak. They are only allowed to speak out in a way that does not threaten the regime and thus are unable to create a complete opposition, enough to overthrow the party and take steps towards democratization. One of the theories that facilitates the idea of the necessity for political leader involvement for democratization to happen is the “Voluntarist theory” of which states that “economic conditions do not determine everything. Political factors (leadership, institutions) matter too.” (Lecture, Origins of Democracy, Week 4). This theory suggests that for China to democratize, it need not only economic growth, but a strong political force. It seems the only prospect for the middle class to become interested in democratization is if the Chinese communist party’s economic success and power significantly deteriorated. It is hard to predict whether the communist party will be able to continue its rigidity in its rule, while still maintaining political and social stability as well as economic growth and sufficient employment opportunities. Currently, China might begin the process of

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