October 13, 2020

The introduction sets forth the chief purpose of the edited volume: to illuminate the politics of regime-society relations under authoritarian rule by examining the cases of Russia and China. The chapter lays out the challenges that authoritarian rulers face in seeking both control over and information from society, followed by the choices that the Russian and Chinese regimes have made in balancing trade-offs between liberalization and repression. Next it describes the advantages of focusing on Russia and China from a substantive and methodological perspective, while noting important differences between the two regimes and how they rule. The chapter then presents the thematic organization of the volume’s twelve chapters, including preempting threats, media politics, law and labor, and building public support. The chapter concludes by reflecting on the difference being different makes and the legacy of Russia and China’s divergent approaches to the events of 1985–1991 for regime-society relations today.

Keywords:   Russia, China, authoritarianism, regime-society relations, liberalization, repression, uncertainty, civil society, popular support

Karrie Koesel, Valerie Bunce, and Jessica Weiss

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190093488

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190093488.001.0001    ----    https://oxford.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.1093/oso/9780190093488.001.0001/oso-9780190093488-chapter-1

Jessica Chen Weiss

Jessica Chen Weiss is Associate Professor of Government at Cornell University. She is the author of Powerful Patriots: Nationalist Protest in China’s Foreign Relations (Oxford University Press, 2014). The dissertation on which it is based won the 2009 American Political Science Association Award for best dissertation in international relations, law and politics.

Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in International OrganizationChina QuarterlyJournal of Conflict Resolutionand Security StudiesHer research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Cornell Einaudi Center, Cornell Center for Social Sciences, Uppsala University, Princeton-Harvard China & The World Program, Bradley Foundation, Fulbright-Hays program, and University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.

Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Weiss received her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego. Before joining Cornell, she was an assistant professor at Yale University (2009-2015) and founded FACES, the Forum for American/Chinese Exchange at Stanford, while an undergraduate at Stanford University. Learn more about her research and writing at www.jessicachenweiss.com

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