Frank N. Pieke is Professor of Modern China Studies at the Leiden Asia Centre, Leiden University. This academic year he is in Uppsala as a fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study. His most recent books are The Good Communist (2009) and Knowing China (2016), both published by Cambridge University Press. In 2021, he and Koichi Iwabuchi published the volume Global East Asia with the University of California Press. His current project is entitled ‘The Rise of China and the Consequences of Superpower’, which asks how its rise as a superpower status will change China.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has developed strategies that draw on a dedication to the Party that is specifically religious yet does not require belief in a doctrine. These strategies revolve around the Leninist concept of ‘party spirit’, which, paradoxically, has become a commodity that is produced, supplied, and consumed. This essay discusses these strategies […]