Seeking to explain the reasons for the swift shift from collective leadership to strongman rule during Xi Jinping’s early years in office, this article argues that it was the result of a widely shared consensus among China’s ruling elite that the regime was facing a severe crisis that necessitated a return to such rule. This argument challenges the widely held view that the dramatic centralization of power in Xi’s hands was the result mainly of his individual personality, motives, and actions. While many of the factual details that this article presents are not new, it is the first to systematically integrate many of these facts to create a coherent explanation of China’s surprising abandonment of the collective leadership model that goes beyond Xi’s individual role.
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Political Science and International Relations