Governing and Ruling

The Political Logic of Taxation in China
Changdong Zhang

Studies how the Chinese Communist Party uses and reforms its taxation institution to promote economic growth and governance quality while limits the emerging capitalists' political demand.


Rapid social economic changes, the transition from a planned economy to a market economy, or even economic liberalization can lead to political instability and the collapse of authoritarian regimes. Despite experiencing all of these unprecedented changes in the past forty years, China under the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership has so far successfully transformed and improved both its governance capacity and its ruling capacity. Governing and Ruling: The Political Logic of Taxation in China addresses this regime resilience puzzle by examining the political logic of its taxation system, especially the ways in which taxation helps China handle three governance problems: maneuvering social control, improving agent discipline, and eliciting cooperation. Changdong Zhang argues that a taxation system plays an important role in sustaining authoritarian rule, in China and elsewhere, by combining co-optation and repression functions. The book collects valuable firsthand and secondhand data; studies China’s taxation system, intergovernmental fiscal relationships, composition of fiscal revenue sources, and tax administration; and discusses how each dimension influences the three governance problems.

Changdong Zhang is Associate Professor of Political Science, Peking University.

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 344pp.
  • 24 figures, 43 tables.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2021
  • Forthcoming
  • 978-0-472-07501-0

  • $85.00 U.S.

  • Paper
  • 2021
  • Forthcoming
  • 978-0-472-05501-2

  • $39.95 U.S.

Related Products



  • Chinese politics, Chinese Communist Party, political stability, regime resilience, authoritarian resilience, taxation, fiscal sociology, fiscal federalism, tax state, tax state transition, governance, regional governance quality, asset mobility, economic development, legal repression, state and society, state capacity, institutional turn of comparative authoritarianism, local people's congress, representation, co-optation, capitalists, limited access order, bureaucratization, co-evolution of bureaucracy and market, subnational turn