The dynamic game between political and business elites in both democratic and non-democratic countries has received much attention since the rise of the super-rich in global politics. How does the Chinese Communist Party manage its rising super-rich in the private sector in order to prevent state capture and stay in power? Using a mixed-method approach, this research project details how the super-rich have become a particular target of the party-state, which aims to monitor them and channel their involvement in politics in ways that minimize their potentials to capture the state and maximize their willingness to cooperate with the regime. This inquiry proposes a new perspective for understanding how China has maintained regime stability thus far with its rapid economic development, and what processes may lead to destabilization.
Zhu Zhang is a pre-doctoral fellow at CDDRL and a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Tulane University, with a major field in comparative politics. She studies authoritarianism with particular interests in state-business relations and Chinese politics. Her dissertation book project, Wealth without Power: The Rise of Chinese Private Business Elites and Their Relationship to the Communist Party, examines how the party-state embraces its business elites while preventing them from preying on the state in autocracy. Zhu holds an M.A. in International Affairs from the Pennsylvania State University, and a B.A. in History from Shanghai Normal University.