Topic: The Nomenklatura system in the CCP
“Fusion of the Party and State”:
The Nomenklatura Cadre Personnel Management in China
Chan Sze Wai (14210568)
Hong Kong Baptist University
In western democracies, party and State are supposed to be two distinctive sets of institutions. Party members can compete certain elective public offices of the State. If they are elected, they can govern the State and issue commands through these offices. However, the party still cannot directly command the State to enforce decisions and policies by itself. It cannot intervene the internal operation of the bureaucracy. The governmental bureaucracy is loyal to the people or their elected representatives, but not to any particular political party.
In China, it is often argued that there is a serious “fusion of the Party and State”, the division of labor between commissions and various State supervision organs is entirely not clear. It is then become a common sense, but how should interpret the nature of this problem. Some literature interpret the problem as “The Communist Party controls the cadres” (Dang guan ganbu) (Shrin, 1996).
One of the essential pillars of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) regime is its control over the cadre personnel management. Completely different from the practice of western democracies, Chinese state officials are not recruited and evaluated under democratic, professional and meritocratic principles. Instead, the device of Nomenklatura is used as the major mechanism and instrument in the CCP management of key officials and administrative personnel, as well as the party and state cadres in administrative organs and institutions. Through Nomenklatura system, the CCP can control the appointment, promotion, evaluation and dismissal of leading personnel.
The Nomenklatura is a system of personnel control commonly adopted in Communist countries (Hill & Frank, 1986), which is arose early in Soviet history. It is the instrument of internal organization used by Leninist political parties. With a small core groups of political elites holding and managing a large number of key administrative positions throughout all spheres of political activities. In Russian term, it means “a list of names”. Under the system, privileged positions were reserved for those whose names were on the Communist Party list of approved candidates. It is hierarchical in structure and bureaucratic in procedure (Nomenklatura: The Soviet Communist Party's Leadership Recruitment System, 1969). The Leninist Nomenklatura system has been subject to several modifications in the course of history of the People's Republic of China (PRC), whereas in the Chinese context, the CCP established Nomenklatura not only to personnel management of leading cadres at the center, but also of senior officials at the provincial and prefectural levels. By the 1960's, China's cadre system had become a powerful, party-dominated one. As stated by Yuan (McGregor, 2009), “The CCP has taken the Nomenklatura system to an extreme… wants to lead everything.”
Democratic centralism is the nature of any policy inside the CCP. “The Communist Party controls the cadres” is the principle of cadre personnel management in China, whereas the Nomenklatura system is the critical feature central to the functioning of the CCP’s democratic centralism. The CCP regards its monopoly of personnel management as “the basic source of authority that our party needs to fulfill its political mission at each historical stage, [and that] renders the organizational guarantee for the successful completion of a new democratic revolution, a socialist revolution, and a socialist construction” (Heilmann & Kirchberger, 2000). Nomenklatura, as the fundamental principle and critical feature of cadre personnel management system in China, is the important guarantee to the CCP consolidates its ruling status and power. In essence, it controls the leadership selection and...
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Central Committee Organization Department
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