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Authoritarian regimes are said to be incapable of learning. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has often proved this assumption to be wrong. It has repeatedly surprised observers with its ability to respond to novel challenges, risks or crises produced by rapid economic and social change. At the same time, China’s political system made very little progress in introducing broader political participation, pluralism and competition. Its leaders also resisted implementing structures for the effective control of political power.
This research programme focuses on the procedural and interactional patterns of policy-making in China and on changes of the leadership structure over time.
Of particular interest are those policy areas that the Chinese leadership has identified as key challenges: Party discipline, economic transformation, economic deregulation, judicial reform, and environmental, technological and social policy. The aim of the research work is to assess the processes, outcomes and potential of policy-making in China from various angles: