Path Dependence and the Authoritarian Regime in Traditional Chinese Culture: a Historical Institutionalism Framework of Analysis

Xuanhui Liu

Abstract


The democratic situation in China is deeply influenced by the traditional culture. This article attempt to answer the question why there is no democracy in Chinese traditional culture from historical institutionalism perspective. Path dependence plays the vital role in this process. The starting point is set in Qin Dynasty. After that, the authoritarian regime has been strengthened from four aspects: the bureaucratic system, the Confucian theory, the imperial examination system, and rewards and punishing measures. These measures work from the institutions to people’s inner world. The authoritarian culture became the orthodox value in Chinese traditional culture. The authoritarian regime and traditional culture have been intertwined and strengthened each other. That is a process of path dependence from historical institutionalism perspective. This article shows us a framework of how to observe this process.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/jpag.v3i1.2507

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