Ideology in the Era of Xi Jinping

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    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    After 1978, Maoism as a living mass ideological and social force in the People’s Republic of China largely died away. The Party state’s legitimacy since that time has been based on a new pillar of economic competence and the delivery of tangible economic gains. But China is still a place where, at least within the political elite, there is an identifiable ideology and associated language that links the aims of a political force, the Communist Party of China, with national prosperity, historic rejuvenation, and the delivery of the political goals promised when the Communist Party was founded almost a century ago – modernity in Chinese society. Ideology has not disappeared in this interpretation. It has just become more concealed, more nuanced, and in some spaces more flexible. For Chinese contemporary leaders, ideology is partly a body of practices, beliefs, and language which have been bequeathed to them by previous leaders, and which show that they are part of the same historic movement that runs from 1921 to 1949, and through 1978 until today. This body of practices is aimed at maintaining a sustainable system of one party rule, as well as an assertion of discipline and control in the core tactical spaces of political power. Under Xi, a group of twelve keywords maps out the discursive space that matters to the CPC today. These terms exemplify the ways in which the contemporary CPC is willing to use ideas from diverse sources, either from its own past, or from classical Chinese thinking, as a means of achieving emotional as well as intellectual impact, and to assist in the delivery of the major Party goal of the twenty-first century – the creation of a great nation with the CPC at the heart of its governance. Underlying the keywords and the ideological space they define is the larger notion of the Party, not just attending to material but also spiritual needs – and creating not just a wealthy country, but also a spiritual socialist civilization.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)323-339
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Chinese Political Science
    Volume23
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018

    Keywords

    • Centennial goals
    • China
    • Ideological hybridity
    • Ideology
    • Spiritual civilization
    • Xi Jinping

    Field of Science

    • 5.6 Political science

    Publication Type

    • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database

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