Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

Document Type



As a study exclusively on the political elites, the dissertation studies the Chinese regional leaders and their political career mobility controlled by the central government from 1949 to 2010. The Chinese Communist Party controls its regional leaders by controlling their career movement (political mobility). This study explains why some regional leaders were promoted while some others were demoted or dismissed while most of them shared similar personal background and career experience. By providing empirical evidence with quantitative analysis, this study shows that in post-Deng Chinese politics (1997-2010) there are certain patterns and manipulated by the CCP center in demoting and dismissing its regional leaders in order to improve the party’s overall ruling legitimacy. Many China watchers have ignored the fact that socioeconomic development among different Chinese regions is highly uneven yet has the government found any efficient solution. The conflicts of interests between a regional government and the central government of China may have caused different economic outcomes. Meanwhile, the political importance of a region in China can be evaluated through the center’s fiscal indicators. Last but not least, sustainable economic growth and regional governments’ financial conditions are among the decisive factors that determine regional leaders’ political mobility in the future under the party-state political system.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Clark, William A