19 Pages

Political Legitimacy in Contemporary China Revisited: theoretical refinement and empirical operationalization

WithGunter Schubert

In the first part of this article the author comments on Peter Sandby-Thomas' contribution and critically assesses his suggestion to focus on ‘legitimation’ instead of ‘legitimacy’ when investigating the Chinese political system. In the second part, the author, in an effort to refine his analytical model to study legitimacy presented in an earlier article published in this journal, argues for combining Eastonian systems analysis and policy analysis, particularly at the local level of the Chinese state. The systematic accumulation of knowledge on local policy implementation with regard to procedure, output effectiveness and public responses, undertaken from an Eastonian perspective, provides China scholars with a fruitful approach to the study of legitimacy even if some methodological pitfalls remain.