China is not only a rising superpower, but it also presents an authoritarian political model, which may well become the 21st century’s main alternative—and challenge—to liberal democracy.
What exactly is this model and the ideology behind it? It is not precisely Maoism—the form of communism that China practiced in the 20th century—because despite being ruled single‐handedly by the Communist Party, China opened up to the market economy. But more recently, the regime has promoted a new synthesis of Maoism, nationalism, and “state‐ism,” with ideas borrowed from Carl Schmitt—the notorious German political thinker who helped inspire the rise of Nazism.
This new authoritarian ideology, only now beginning to gain some notice in the West, is booming in China. In the words of the New York Times, it is even making some formerly liberal intellectuals “rethink the relationship between individual freedom and state authority.” Join us to hear Timothy Cheek and Lynette Ong describe this phenomenon. Understanding it will be key to evaluating China’s ambitions and anxieties—and to devising the right policies to protect freedom.