CeMEAS Conversations: Carolin Kautz

CeMEAS Conversations: Carolin Kautz

Who Does Still Believe in Communism? How Ideology and Capitalism Shape China’s Future


In this video, Carolin Kautz discusses her research on the Communist Party of China (CCP) and the development of party ideology since 1949. She examines the adaptation of the CCP to a capitalist environment since the politics of reform and opening in the 1980s and engages with questions of cadre loyalty and party social identity. Based on her extensive analysis of party documents, she discusses the new relevance of party ideology under Xi Jinping as well as the widespread phenomenon of corruption among party cadres. Furthermore, she elaborates on challenges the party faces in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic as well as socio-economic problems.

In this interview she discusses the following questions:

00:05  What is the ideology of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)? How has it changed since 1949?

05:44  As a Leninist party, how can the CCP adapt to a capitalist environment?

09:51  Can you briefly elaborate on speculations of a neo-Maoist turn in Chinese politics since Xi Jinping’s ascent to power?

16:26  Corruption is a very significant problem in China, affecting all aspects of governance and administration. How does the CCP deal with this?

21:09  What are major challenges for the CCP in the coming years?

Carolin Kautz studied sinology and political science at the University of Goettingen and Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU). In 2015, she received her Master of Arts in sinology and political science from the University of Göttingen.

After internships at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF) and German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA), she started working as an instructor and doctoral candidate at the Department of East Asian Studies in Göttingen in 2015 and has begun a research project on corruption in China. In 2022, she finished her Phd research project “The Ties that Bind: Party Social Identity and the Relevance of Ideology for the Chinese Communist Party”. Carolins research interests include the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), ideological debates and the legitimacy of political rule as well as challenges to it.