East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

December 4 Workshop


East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents


“Organizational Clientelism: An Analysis of

Private Entrepreneur Delegates in Chinese Local Legislatures”


Presenter: Xin Sun

Ph.D. Candidate, Dept of Political Science

Northwestern University



4:00-5:30pm, Tuesday

December 4th, 2012

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.




    Extant literature on authoritarian legislatures shows that dictators build the quasi-democratic institution to co-opt opposition and attract investors by credibly sharing policy-making power with them. We argue that authoritarian legislatures may also serve as a platform for autocrats to nurture clientelistic ties with social groups useful to their rule. An analysis of the Chinese local private entrepreneur delegates suggests that the Chinese local government uses local legislature to organizationally channel patronage to and induce political support from the private sector. Our field interviews and quantitative studies of a nationwide firm-level survey further reveal that private firms owned by legislative members, while obtain more bank loans, also provide more assistance to the government in forms of funds and services. These findings indicate that authoritarian legislatures, even with weak policy-making efficacy, may still help the authoritarian state build stable political alliance with social groups, therefore contributing to regime resilience.


Workshop website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/

Student coordinator: Le Lin (lelin2010@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang, Dingxin Zhao and Zheng Michael Song


This presentation is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences and Center for East Asian Studies. Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance please contact the student coordinator in advance.

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