Fewsmith Discusses Latest Book During CSIS Book Talk

Joseph Fewsmith, Professor of International Relations at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, presented his new book – Rethinking Chinese Politics – during a special Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) book talk. 

CSIS Freeman Chair Jude Blanchette and Trustee Chair Scott Kennedy co-hosted the event and offered their reactions to Fewsmith’s findings. Following an initial presentation by Fewsmith, Jessica Teets, Associate Professor of Political Science at Middlebury College, offered commentary on the key takeaways of the book providing insight into China’s political system.

During his remarks, Fewsmith discussed the key findings of his book. In his book, Fewsmith argues, as in all Leninist systems, political power is difficult to pass on from one leader to the next. He traces four decades of elite politics from Deng to Xi, showing how each leader has or has not built power. He shows how the structure of politics in China has set the stage for intense and sometimes violent intra-elite struggles, shaping a hierarchy in which one person tends to dominate, and, ironically, providing for periods of stability between intervals of contention.

A recording of the event can be viewed below.

Joseph Fewsmith is Professor of International Relations at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University  He is the author or editor of eight books, including, most recently, The Logic and Limits of Political Reform in China (January 2013). Read more about Professor Fewsmith on his faculty profile.