The End of Village Democracy in China

Issue Date July 2023
Volume 34
Issue 3
Page Numbers 62–76
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Since Xi Jinping became China’s paramount leader in 2012, his top domestic priority has been the strengthening of the Chinese Communist Party’s power over government, economy, and society. This extends to village life, where a decades-long experiment with direct elections is being unwound by new efforts to establish Party control at the rural grassroots level. This essay draws on first-hand observation and Chinese sources to examine the ongoing CCP strategy for reestablishing party dominance over village affairs.

About the Author

Ben Hillman is director of the Australian Centre on China in the World at the Australian National University and editor of the China Journal. He is editor (with Gray Tuttle) of Conflict and Protest in Tibet and Xinjiang: Unrest in China’s West (2016) and author (with Chien-Wen Kou) of Political and Social Control in China: The Consolidation of Single-Party Rule (forthcoming).

View all work by Ben Hillman