Wednesday 31 October 2018, 12:30 - 14:00

China’s Future : Democracy or Dictatorship, Rule of Law or Rule by Law?

Jean-Pierre Cabestan

Professor in Political Science at Hong Kong Baptist University

Auditorium Ivan Pictet
Maison de la paix, Geneva

Many observers have thought that China’s unprecedented economic development and the emergence of a large middle class would lead to political liberalization and facilitate a gradual transition towards democracy. The current reality and the recent evolution of the Chinese political system have clearly contradicted this prediction. The Communist Party’s dictatorship is strong and stable, supported by large segments of the Chinese society, particularly its elites. As a result, while the government system continues to modernize and a rule by law is gradually taking shape, China is not moving towards a genuine rule of law. More generally, any democratization of China is unlikely in the next twenty or thirty years. But later? Fukuyama may eventually be right!

Jean-Pierre Cabestan is Professor, Department of Government and International Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University. He is also associate researcher at the Asia Centre, Paris and at the French Centre for Research on Contemporary China, Hong Kong. His main themes of research are Chinese politics and law, China’s foreign and security policies, China-Taiwan relations and Taiwanese politics. His most recent publications include Political Changes in Taiwan Under Ma Ying-jeou. Partisan Conflict, Policy Choices, External Constraints and Security Challenges. (co-edited with Jacques deLisle), Abingdon, Oxon & New York, Routledge, 2014 and Demain la Chine: démocratie ou dictature? (China Tomorrow: Democracy or Dictatorship?), Paris, Gallimard, 2018.

This event is organised in collaboration with the University of Geneva, Departement of East-Asian Studies, and is part of the lecture series on "Dismantling the Rule of Law?" organised by the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy

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