Video On Demand

China Reality Check Series: Chinese Public Opinion and the Durability of Chinese Communist Party Rule

October 26, 2016 • 3:00 – 4:30 pm EDT
Please join the Freeman Chair in China Studies for a discussion on how Chinese public opinion affects the durability of the Chinese Communist Party. At the heart of political commentary on China lies a paradox between the view that the CCP lacks procedural legitimacy and that there are signs of disenchantment by certain segments of the population on the one hand and that public opinion polls show substantial regime support on the other. The Freeman Chair will host China scholars Bruce J. Dickson, author of The Dictator’s Dilemma: The Chinese Communist Party’s Strategy for Survival, and Tang Wenfang, author of Populist Authoritarianism: Chinese Political Culture and Regime Sustainability, to discuss this puzzle, which they both address in their recently published books. Bill Bishop, editor of The Sinocism China Newsletter, will offer his reactions to the insights offered by Dickson and Tang as well as share his own observations about trends in popular attitudes in China.
Books will be available for purchase, and book signing by authors Bruce J. Dickson and Tang Wenfang will be offered 30 minutes before and after the event.


Bruce J. Dickson
Professor of Political Science and International Affairs; Chair, Department of Political Science, George Washington University

Bruce J. Dickson is professor of political science and international affairs, and Chair of the Department of Political Science at George Washington University. His teaching focus on political dynamics in China, especially the adaptability of the Chinese Communist Party and the regime it governs. Dickson’s current research examines the political consequences of economic reform in China, the Chinese Communist Party’s evolving strategy for survival, and the changing relationship between state and society. He is the author of five books, the most recent being The Dictator’s Dilemma: The Chinese Communist Party’s Strategy for Survival (Oxford, 2016).

Tang Wenfang
Chair and Stanley Hua Hsia Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Iowa

Tang Wenfang is Stanley Hua Hsia Professor of Political Science and International Studies. His current research focuses on public opinion and political change in contemporary China, as well as comparative political behavior. He has authored and coauthored several books published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Stanford University Press, and many articles in both leading general political science and area-studies journals.


Scott Kennedy
Deputy Director, Freeman Chair in China Studies; Director, Project on Chinese Business & Political Economy

Scott Kennedy is deputy director of the Freeman Chair in China Studies and director of the Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy at CSIS. A leading authority on China’s economic policy and its global economic relations, specific areas of focus include industrial policy, business lobbying, multinational business challenges in China, Chinese participation in global economic regimes, and philanthropy. For over 14 years, Kennedy was a professor at Indiana University (IU). From 2007 to 2014, he was director of the Research Center for Chinese Politics & Business, and he was the founding academic director of IU’s China Office. From 1993 to 1997, he worked at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of The Business of Lobbying in China (Harvard University Press, 2005) and the editor of three books, including Beyond the Middle Kingdom: Comparative Perspectives on China’s Capitalist Transformation (Stanford University Press, 2011), and The Dragon’s Learning Curve: Global Governance and China (Routledge, forthcoming).


Bill Bishop
Founder and Editor, Sinocism China Newsletter

Bill Bishop is a bilingual American who moved back to the Washington DC area in 2015 after 10 years living and working in Beijing. He runs The Sinocism China Newsletter, an email newsletter that provides commentary and curation and consulting services about China. He has 6 academic years of formal Chinese language studies, an MA in China Studies from Johns Hopkins SAIS and a BA from Middlebury College. He co-founded CBS MarketWatch in 1997 and worked in several business roles over the years, the last as head of the MarketWatch consumer Internet business before moving to Beijing in 2005. In total he has lived and worked in China on and off for over 13 years since the Spring of 1989. He is often quoted in major media such as Bloomberg, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, New York Times etc. and has given numerous briefings to policymakers.
Books will be available for purchase, and book signing by authors Bruce J. Dickson and Tang Wenfang will be offered 30 minutes before and after the event.
Photo credit: LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images
Scott Kennedy
Senior Adviser and Trustee Chair in Chinese Business and Economics