“Political Economy of Making an Authoritarian Constitution: The Case of China” by Chenggang Xu
The University of Hong Kong
This paper studies, theoretically and empirically, the rational of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s constitutional transformation from totalitarian to authoritarian. The premise of our theory is that the rational of the Party is centered on its power, which relies on the support of social elites in the economy. When an economy is in transition, who are the elites is in change. A totalitarian constitution may become suboptimal under that situation. Making an authoritarian constitution may create conditions for maintaining the Party’s power. Our theoretical predictions are supported by empirical evidence/tests based on Chinese data at firm level, city level and national level, during the period of 2002/2004 party/state constitutional changes.