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POLI 422 - Lieberthal: Formal Political Organizations

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 422
Juan Wang

Ch 6The Organization of Political Power and Its Consequences The View from the OutsideChinese system is divided into three bureaucratic hierarchies the party the government and the militaryPartygovernment hierarchies are organized into four levels CentreProvinceCountyCityUnit The party structure always exercises authority over its government counterpart on the same level within the hierarchy Formal Organizational Structure The Organizational Chart at the CenterEach territorial level of the Chinese system features a similar organizational flow Each level has bodies of various sizes in theory the larger the body the greater the power In reality the opposite is true the smallest body is the most important structure At the CCP Centre Politburo SCPolitburoCentral CommitteeParty CongressCongresses 15002300 meet very infrequently once every four years and are when major policies are implemented Congress is very similar to an American political party convention While it is the most important body in theory it is used simply as a vehicle for announcing and legitimizing previouslymade decisions The Central Committee 350 is smaller and membership to it is usually tied to membership with other prestigious positions It is formally chosen by the Party Congress it is chosen in actuality by the Politburo The Politburo 1424 is the command HQ of the party and nearly all members are those that form the top power elite in China Again Politburo membership is not a fulltime job The Standing Committee of the Politburo 49 meets weekly and is the truly powerful inner circle These are headed by the General Secretary which is the formal head of the Secretariat This functions as staff support for the Politburo The Military Affairs Commission heads the PLA At the Government Centre PremiersVice PremiersSC of State CouncilState CouncilSC NPCNational Peoples Congress The National Peoples Congress 3000 is the legislative equivalent of the Party Congress During the 1980s it began to develop permanent committees and began developing a body of formal law Currently it has played an increasing role in policy deliberation The Chinese legal system also stems from this body
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