Coercion and governance in China analyzing civil-military relations in the post-Deng era using Multiah Alagappa's analytical framework
Tam, Andrew H.
Miller, H. Lyman
Swanland, Brian E.
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This thesis applies Multiah Alagappa's framework for analyzing civil-military relations in the People's Republic of China (PRC) in the post-Deng era, when several key developments have fundamentally altered the relationship between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the People's Liberation Army (PLA). These developments include the absence of a powerful paramount leader, the generational shifts in the civilian and military leaderships, the increasing professionalization of the PLA, the decline of communism as a legitimating ideology, the sustained progress of economic development, the emergence of a robust civil society, and the increasing legitimacy of China's political system. Moreover, this thesis undertakes an extensive review of the various explanations and theories advanced in the literature of civil-military relations, asserting that Alagappa's analytical framework offers the most comprehensive tool for analyzing civil-military relations to date. Using Alagappa's analytical framework, this thesis argues that the current trend in civil-military relations in China has brought increasing civilian supremacy, as the political power and influence of the PLA have diminished over time due to the decreasing significance of coercion in governance, the strengthening of non-coercive state institutions, China's sustained high level of economic development, and the increasing legitimacy of China's political system.
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