Fragmented Authoritarianism or Integrated Fragmentation

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    Chinese business groups have grown into huge enterprises with significant economic and political clout. They have been able to generate enormous resources through listings in China and abroad and through immense profits which they mainly keep within the group. In the political arena they have proved their influence by obstructing the creation of new ministries and regulatory commissions that would limit their powers. The heads of these business groups often outrank their counterparts in state administrative organs and bureaus that are supposed to regulate their activities. The increased role of these business leaders prompts the question of whether we are seeing the development of distinct interest groups that could challenge Party and state authority and create a fragmented polity.
    However, through the nomenklatura system the Party has an important instrument of control to wield over business groups. Through this system the Party controls the appointment and promotion of the heads of the most important state-owned enterprises. The nomenklatura system also enables the Party to rotate leaders in big business from a position as CEO in one company to a similar position in another state-owned company or from a position as business leader to a position in the state apparatus or in the Party and vice versa. To conceptualize the coexistence of the contradicting forces for further enterprise autonomy and continued central control that characterizes the evolving relationship between business groups and the Party-state, I suggest the notion of integrated fragmentation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2013
    Number of pages20
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    Event2013 Annual Conference of the Association of Asian Studies (AAS) - Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego, United States
    Duration: 21 Mar 201324 Mar 2013


    Conference2013 Annual Conference of the Association of Asian Studies (AAS)
    LocationManchester Grand Hyatt
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CitySan Diego
    Internet address

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