Journal of Democracy April 2018 Issue: China in Xi’s New Era


Is Xi Jinping returning China to a Mao-style personalist dictatorship? How is China under Xi exerting its authoritarian influence in its neighborhood—and around the world?

In the April 2018 issue of the Journal of Democracy, a set of eight articles on China in Xi’s new era examines the country’s internal changes in the wake of the 19th Party Congress, its expanding global ambitions, and its influence operations from Canberra to the Czech Republic:

  • Susan L. Shirk examines how Xi Jinping has dismantled the mechanisms put in place after Mao Zedong’s death to prevent the “overconcentration of power”;
  • Minxin Pei assesses China’s newly assertive foreign policy;
  • Shanthi Kalathil describes how China’s growth-without-liberalization agenda is changing the conversation on development;
  • Orville Schell surveys the neglected treasury of Chinese democratic thought;
  • And China’s overseas influence efforts come under the spotlight in articles by John Fitzgerald on Australia, Anne-Marie Brady on New Zealand, Donald K. Emmerson on Singapore, and Martin Hala on Central and Eastern Europe.

For further discussion about China in Xi’s new era, read blog posts related to this article cluster on the International Forum’s Power 3.0 blog.

Populism, Liberalism, and Democracy

Two insightful essays delve into the roots and implications of populism’s global ascent. William A. Galston explores populism’s logic and considers how liberal democracies can respond; Yascha Mounk argues that populism’s rise may, in part, reflect popular frustration with “undemocratic liberalism.”

In addition, in the April 2018 issue:

  • Corruption and coalitions: Eduardo Mello and Matias Spektor weigh the implications of Brazil’s “Operation Car Wash” scandal for multiparty presidential systems.
  • The global antidemocratic challenge: Michael J. Abramowitz and Sarah Repucci report the troubling findings of Freedom House’s survey for 2017.
  • A new beginning in Macedonia? Besir Ceka explores the political turmoil and identity issues underlying the country’s recent dramatic political changes.
  • After the vote: Michael Chege assesses the divisive turn taken by Kenya’s 2017 presidential contest.
  • Reconsidering Iran’s protests: Ladan Boroumand reviews Democracy in Iran: Why It Failed and How It Might Succeed, by Misagh Parsa.

For the complete Table of Contents, visit