Abstract

The resilience of the Chinese authoritarian regime is approaching its limits. Theories of “threshold models” and “informational cascades” derived from the East German experience may help explain what happens next. China, however, is different from East Germany in several ways. Among other differences, it is not a client state and its economy is growing faster than those of its neighbors. Citizens are better informed about what other people think; the Chinese police are more skilled in the arts of repression, and the regime is more adaptive than other authoritarian regimes. A breakthrough moment could be triggered by several kinds of events. A key variable in the cascade model of political change is fear, and that seems to be diminishing.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3214
Print ISSN
1045-5736
Pages
pp. 20-25
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-15
Open Access
No
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