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Coalitions of the Weak

For the first time since Mao, a Chinese leader may serve a life-time tenure. Xi Jinping may well replicate Mao's successful strategy to maintain power. If so, what are the institutional and policy implications for China? In his new book, Victor Shih investigates how leaders of one-party autocracies seek to dominate the elite and achieve true dictatorship, governing without fear of internal challenge or resistance to major policy changes. Through an in-depth look of late-Mao politics informed by thousands of historical documents and data analysis, he uncovers Mao's strategy of replacing seasoned, densely networked senior officials with either politically tainted or inexperienced officials. The book further documents how a decentralized version of this strategy led to two generations of weak leadership in the Chinese Communist Party, creating the conditions for Xi's rapid consolidation of power after 2012.

The Rise and Fall of Imperial China

China was once the world’s leading superpower for almost two millennia, falling behind only in the last two centuries and now rising to dominance again. What factors led to imperial China’s decline? Yuhua Wang will discuss his new book “The Rise and Fall of Imperial China,” which offers a systematic look at the Chinese state from the seventh century through to the 20th.

Twists and Turns of the DOJ’s China Initiative


Eileen Guo and Jess Aloe, Journalists from MIT Tech Review and Nelson Dong, legal expert from Dorsey & Whitney team up to explain how the U.S. Justice Department’s China Initiative shifted from focusing on economic espionage to procedural research issues, largely targeting ethnic Chinese researchers in the process. Guo and Aloe will report their findings from examining all known China Initiative cases while Dong will provide a legal analysis in the context of civil rights and US-China relations.

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