From the vanguard of the working class to the vanguard of the market reforms: the transformation of the communist party of China in post-Mao era /

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Turkey

Approval Date: 2015

Thesis Language: English

Student: Onurcan Ülker



Transformation of the Communist Party of China (CPC) during China’s gradual but strong-willed marketization in post-Mao era has long been attracting attention of social scientists. Today, two popular approaches to this transformation in mainstream literature are liberal-individualist and state-centric/institutionalist ones. While the former of these approaches mainly argues that market-oriented transformation in China will sooner or later end up with the collapse of the ‘authoritarian’ CPC rule by creating individuals as bearers of liberal-democratic values, the latter mainly focuses on whether the CPC as a self-seeking social actor could succeed in ‘adapting’ itself to the changing social environment by also leading a political transformation alongside of the economic one. The aim of this study is to offer an alternative approach to post-Mao transformation of the CPC on the basis of Mao Zedong’s contributions to Marxist theory in terms of the analysis of the relationship between bureaucratic degeneration of the communist parties in power and capitalist restoration. Through an analysis from this point of view, it is argued in this study that the CPC has transformed from a party of communist militants to party of ‘experts’ and bureaucrats, from a Marxist-Leninist party to a pragmatic one, and from party of workers and peasants to party of higher social classes and segments including ‘new capitalists’ of China in post-Mao era.