China's Foreign Relations and the Survival of Autocracies

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Routledge, 2015 - 222 páginas
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Is the rise of China a cause of autocratic longevity? The Chinese government has frequently been criticised for propping up anti-democratic governments, whether in blocking UN sanctions on human rights violators or making huge investments in resource rich, but repressive countries.
This book investigates the rise of China as an emerging major power and seeks to answer the question whether China's rise stabilises other non-democratic leaders in the world. From a theoretical perspective, dictators are easier to be influenced from the outside than democratic leaders who are constraint by accountability rules and are more dependent on public opinion in their political survival. By comparing China's bilateral relations to three Asian developing countries - Cambodia, Burma and Mongolia - with varying political types of regime, the book illustrates that the Chinese government has indeed profited from exploiting secretive decision making in autocracies to realise its own external interests such as achieving access to natural resources. Through a statistical analysis of the patterns of Chinese external cooperation and their impact on the survival of dictators, Julia Bader argues that China's economic cooperation has been targeted increasingly towards dictators in recent years. However, only some forms of bilateral interaction, such as high trade dependence on China, effectively do increase the prospect of survival for autocratic leaders while others, such as diplomatic relations or economic cooperation do not have such an effect.


This important contribution to the understanding of both external factors of authoritarian endurance and China's foreign relations, a field of study still lacking systematic investigation, is of great interest to students and researchers in Development Studies, Asian Studies, International Relations, and International Political Economy.

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Julia Bader is an Assistant Professor for International Relations at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands and an Associate Fellow of the German Development Institute (DIE). Her work focuses on the political economy of authoritarian regimes, foreign aid and democracy promotion.

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