Marian Miner Cook

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The Sentinel State: Surveillance and the Survival of Dictatorship in China

Thu, February 22, 2024
Dinner Program
Minxin Pei

CMC's own Professor Minxin Pei will address his upcoming book on the endurance of China’s dictatorship. For decades China watchers argued that economic liberalization and increasing prosperity would bring democracy to the world’s most populous country. Instead, the Communist Party’s grip on power has only strengthened. Why? The answer, Professor Pei argues, lies in the effectiveness of the Chinese surveillance state. And the source of that effectiveness is not just advanced technology like facial recognition AI and mobile phone tracking. These are important, but what matters more is China’s vast, labor-intensive infrastructure of domestic spying.

Minxin Pei is the Tom and Margot Pritzker ’72 Professor of Government and George R. Roberts Fellow at Claremont McKenna College. His areas of expertise include China, comparative politics, the Pacific Rim, U.S./Asia relations, and U.S./China relations. He is also a non-resident senior fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. In 2019, he was the Library of Congress Chair on U.S.-China Relations. Prior to joining Claremont McKenna College in 2009, he was a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and served as its director of the China Program from 2003 to 2008. He is the author of From Reform to Revolution: The Demise of Communism in China and the Soviet Union (Harvard University Press,1994), China’s Trapped Transition: The Limits of Developmental Autocracy (Harvard University Press, 2006), and China’s Crony Capitalism: The Dynamics of Regime Decay (Harvard University Press, 2016).

Professor Pei's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies at CMC.

Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

Claremont McKenna College
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