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Rejuvenating communism : the Communist Youth League as a political promotion channel in post-Mao China

Abstract : How does the Chinese Party-State renew its political elite and maintain its cohesion in the post-Mao era? This is a key question in order to understand the evolution of China’s political system and still the explanations one can find in the literature are far from satisfactory. I approach these questions through a unique account of the role played by the Chinese Communist Youth League (CYL) in terms of cadres’ recruitment and promotion since the 1980s. I show that due to post-Cultural Revolution politics and the need for leaders at the time to recruit loyal young cadres, a “sponsored mobility” system was developed to renew the Party-State’s elite. College students are recruited and trained through the Party’s youth organizations. They are put then on a unique promotion path, which includes specific opportunities and trainings, and which leads them to leadership position in the Party-State. In addition, through the various steps of the sponsored mobility process, the young recruits develop a specific social role as future officials and transform their social circles. As a result, they cultivate a political commitment to their career in the Party-State and to the survival of the regime. Finally, the decentralized nature of the Party-State and its youth organizations make it difficult for the young recruits to establish cohesive groups which could organize against the Party-State itself.
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Submitted on : Monday, December 6, 2021 - 10:22:09 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, March 26, 2022 - 3:28:41 AM


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  • HAL Id : tel-03464536, version 2



Jérôme Doyon. Rejuvenating communism : the Communist Youth League as a political promotion channel in post-Mao China. Political science. Institut d'études politiques de paris - Sciences Po; Columbia university (New York, N.Y.), 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016IEPP0029⟩. ⟨tel-03464536v2⟩



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