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The China ModelPolitical Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy$
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Daniel A. Bell

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691173047

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691173047.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The China Model

Daniel A. Bell

Princeton University Press

This book argues in favor of political meritocracy using China's one-party political system as example. It considers four key flaws of democracy, along with theoretical and real meritocratic alternatives for each: “the tyranny of the majority,” “the tyranny of the minority,” “the tyranny of the voting community,” and “the tyranny of competitive individualists.” The book also discusses three key problems associated with any attempt to implement political meritocracy and asks whether it is possible to address these problems without democratic elections: the problem of corruption, the problem of ossification, and the problem of legitimacy. Finally, it explores the pros and cons of different models of “democratic meritocracy” as well as three basic planks of the China model and how political reform in the post-Mao era has been guided by the principles of “democracy at the bottom, experimentation in the middle, and meritocracy at the top”.

Keywords:   political meritocracy, China, political system, democracy, elections, corruption, legitimacy, democratic meritocracy, political reform, experimentation

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