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Citizens and the State in Authoritarian Regimes - Comparing China and Russia

English · Paperback / Softback

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Citizens and the State in Authoritarian Regimes compares the most powerful authoritarian states in global politics today: Russia and China. By placing China and Russia side-by-side, this volume produces new insights, including what strategies their rulers have used to stay in power while forging political stability and gathering information; how societal groups have resisted, complied, or responded to these strategies; and what costs and benefits,
anticipated and unexpected, have accompanied the bargains political leaders and their societies have struck. The essays in this volume change the way we understand authoritarian politics and expand the terrain of how we analyze regime-society relations in authoritarian states.

About the author

Karrie J. Koesel is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame.

Valerie J. Bunce is the Aaron Binenkorb Professor Emerita of Government at Cornell University.

Jessica Chen Weiss is Associate Professor of Government at Cornell University.


The revival of authoritarianism is one of the most important forces reshaping world politics today. However, not all authoritarians are the same. To examine both resurgence and variation in authoritarian rule, Karrie J. Koesel, Valerie J. Bunce, and Jessica Chen Weiss gather a leading cast of scholars to compare the most powerful autocracies in global politics today: Russia and China. The essays in Citizens and the State in Authoritarian Regimes focus on
three issues that currently animate debates about these two countries and, more generally, authoritarian political systems. First, how do authoritarian regimes differ from one another, and how do these differences affect regime-society relations? Second, what do citizens think about the authoritarian governments
that rule them, and what do they want from their governments? Third, what strategies do authoritarian leaders use to keep citizens and public officials in line and how successful are those strategies in sustaining both the regime and the leader's hold on power? Integrating the most important findings from a now-immense body of research into a coherent comparative analysis of Russia and China, this book will be essential for anyone studying the foundations of contemporary

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An extremely timely volume that leverages in-depth comparative inquiry among three generations of top Russia and China scholars to analyze contrasting patterns of dictatorship. A must-read for understanding state-society relations in today's illiberal-leaning global political climate.

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