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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The structural limits of civilian leadership intervention into defense policy-making and civilian control of the military in the PRC : from Mao to Jiang Dinwoodie, Christian


This thesis argues that domestic institutions have been causal in determining degrees of both foreign and defense policy non-integration and the consistency of military action with these policies in the PRC under Jiang Zemin and Mao Zedong at his peak of power. I will first examine alternative explanations of state behaviour illuminating their strengths and weaknesses in solving the puzzle of periods of policy integration and non-integration. Then I will argue that institutions have been causal in selecting out leaders and restricting leaders' choices in both cases. The two cases examined, one of policy integration under Mao Zedong in 1965 and the other of policy non-integration under Jiang Zemin from 1990-1995, each reflect a clearly distinct set of domestic institutions that has been causal in determining policy integration and consistent military action with stated policy goals. Mao was able to integrate policy and military action under conditions of directive leadership in the Politburo, hierarchical authority and pervasive politics. On the other hand Jiang has been faced with balanced leadership in the Politburo, reciprocal accountability among the top leadership, and a loosely coupled system of political military relations. This thesis will conclude with an examination of how the current conditions of non-integrated policy can be changed with the development of new institutional rules and structures. These changes include the development of civilian military expertise, effective monitoring bodies, and policy integrating bodies. Increasing transnational relations, the cross over of the civilian and military scientific comminutes and the growing policy influence of non-military policy experts are mutually reinforcing in giving civilian leaders in China policy handles that can diminish the militaries monopoly of expertise. These developments should help overcome the policy non-integration problems of the current political-military structure under Jiang.

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