The Party-state Order: Essays on China’s Political Organization and Political Economic Institutions

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesisResearch

Abstract

The present dissertation is a compilation of three individual papers, and an introduction chapter. While the introduction lays out the theoretic backdrop of the project as a whole, the papers represent interventions into three specific dimensions of China’s Party-state order: structural organizational issues, decision-making institutions, and political economic dynamics. These three dimensions are presented as aspects of the same political organizational order, a Party-state order assembled around the hegemony of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC), conceptualized in the introduction using a Gramsci-inspired theory of the state. Employing a historical institutional approach, the three papers engage with specific strands of literatures of China Studies in a conceptual and theoretic manner, while also contributing with empirical findings. They discuss the concept of Fragmented Authoritarianism (FA), the organization and institutionalization of Leading Small Groups, and the social embeddedness of state-owned enterprise (SOE). FA has been an influential concept to explain structural issues of China’s bureaucracy, and with China’s energy administration as example, I review its value as a theoretic notion today, 30 years after its inception. Discussing the growing importance of Leading Small Groups, the second paper addresses some of the institutional “fixes” to decisionmaking and policy coordination, which have evolved in response to structural fault-lines described in the FA paper. The third paper takes the dissertation into the political economic dimension of the Party-state order, providing a case study of how China National Petroleum Corporation, a central, state-owned and CPC led SOE, is organizationally rooted in its local operations, remaining institutionally embedded in local society through its legacy as a socialist work unit (danwei). Using Polanyi’s concept of embeddedness, the paper reveals how SOEs are split into two tiers each tasked with the respective objectives of economic development and political stability, and thus as Party-state organizations are used to flexibly support CPC hegemony.
The present dissertation is a compilation of three individual papers, and an introduction chapter. While the introduction lays out the theoretic backdrop of the project as a whole, the papers represent interventions into three specific dimensions of China’s Party-state order: structural organizational issues, decision-making institutions, and political economic dynamics. These three dimensions are presented as aspects of the same political organizational order, a Party-state order assembled around the hegemony of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC), conceptualized in the introduction using a Gramsci-inspired theory of the state. Employing a historical institutional approach, the three papers engage with specific strands of literatures of China Studies in a conceptual and theoretic manner, while also contributing with empirical findings. They discuss the concept of Fragmented Authoritarianism (FA), the organization and institutionalization of Leading Small Groups, and the social embeddedness of state-owned enterprise (SOE). FA has been an influential concept to explain structural issues of China’s bureaucracy, and with China’s energy administration as example, I review its value as a theoretic notion today, 30 years after its inception. Discussing the growing importance of Leading Small Groups, the second paper addresses some of the institutional “fixes” to decisionmaking and policy coordination, which have evolved in response to structural fault-lines described in the FA paper. The third paper takes the dissertation into the political economic dimension of the Party-state order, providing a case study of how China National Petroleum Corporation, a central, state-owned and CPC led SOE, is organizationally rooted in its local operations, remaining institutionally embedded in local society through its legacy as a socialist work unit (danwei). Using Polanyi’s concept of embeddedness, the paper reveals how SOEs are split into two tiers each tasked with the respective objectives of economic development and political stability, and thus as Party-state organizations are used to flexibly support CPC hegemony.
LanguageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherCopenhagen Business School [Phd]
Number of pages168
ISBN (Print)9788793579521
ISBN (Electronic)9788793579538
StatePublished - 2018
SeriesPhD Series
Number03.2018
ISSN0906-6934

Cite this

Grünberg, N. (2018). The Party-state Order: Essays on China’s Political Organization and Political Economic Institutions. Frederiksberg: Copenhagen Business School [Phd]. PhD Series, No. 03.2018
Grünberg, Nis. / The Party-state Order : Essays on China’s Political Organization and Political Economic Institutions. Frederiksberg : Copenhagen Business School [Phd], 2018. 168 p. (PhD Series; No. 03.2018).
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Grünberg, N 2018, The Party-state Order: Essays on China’s Political Organization and Political Economic Institutions. PhD Series, no. 03.2018, Copenhagen Business School [Phd], Frederiksberg.

The Party-state Order : Essays on China’s Political Organization and Political Economic Institutions. / Grünberg, Nis.

Frederiksberg : Copenhagen Business School [Phd], 2018. 168 p.

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesisResearch

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Grünberg N. The Party-state Order: Essays on China’s Political Organization and Political Economic Institutions. Frederiksberg: Copenhagen Business School [Phd], 2018. 168 p. (PhD Series; No. 03.2018).