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The 11th East Asia Research Salon

February 2017 @ 16:00 - 17:30

Asiatica_K_0The 11th East Asia Research Salon
Bullets coated with sugar: Anticorruption and moralising in the Chinese Communist Party
Wednesday, February 1st, 16:00 – 17:30, KWZ 0.701
Carolin Kautz, MA, Assistant Professor
Department of East Asian Studies, University of Göttingen

Dr. Armin Müller, Department of East Asian Studies
Prof. Dr. Tobias Lenz, Department of Political Science

In late 2016 in the context of Xi Jinping’s anticorruption campaign, the CCTV published a TV series entitled “Always on the Road” (Yongyuan zai lushang永远在路上) that is portraying the ongoing fight of the Chinese Communist Party against corruption and for the progress of society. Among others, it features prominent CCP cadres having been sentenced for corrupt activities and making self-confessions in front of the camera with former deputy party secretary of Sichuan Province, Li Chunchen, tearfully apologising to the party and the people for his offences. This TV series is to be seen within the broader political context of a large-scale anticorruption campaign that has taken down cadres for a multitude of breaches of discipline. This research project aims to see anticorruption and discipline enforcement in the CCP from a significantly enlarged angle and more broadly asks how the Communist Party tries to enforce upon its members its far-reaching discipline standards that also cover very private behaviour.
For this goal, official government publications and newspaper reporting during anticorruption and party rectification campaigns are analysed. It is hypothetically argued that two main tools are used as means of discipline enforcement, similar to the principle of carrots and sticks, with one tool being the referral to punitive measures and the other one the attempt to create an elitist sense of belonging and commitment of its members to the party. For this argument, Benedict Anderson’s model of ‘imagined communities’ is planned to be borrowed and adapted to analyse how the CCP aims to form a disciplined, coherent and committed cadre corps able to cope with the various challenges the CCP has been facing throughout its history of a revolutionary and later ruling party.

Carolin Kautz studied sinology and political science in Göttingen and at the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) and in 2015 received her MA from the University of Göttingen. Since October 2015, she works as an assistant professor at the Department of East Asian Studies in Göttingen and has begun a research project on corruption in China. Her research interests include the Chinese Communist Party, ideological debates and the legitimacy of political rule as well as challenges to it.


February 2017
16:00 - 17:30
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