Miller Center

Xuezhi Guo

Political Science, University of Virginia

The Guanxi (Interpersonal Relations) of Chinese Communist Elite: Theory and Practice

Guo photo

George Xuezhi Guo is Professor of Political Science at Guilford College.

Guo specializes in comparative politics, international politics, East Asian politics, and comparative political thought.

Guo constructed his dissertation around the model of guanxi, an ideal which has deep cultural roots embedded in Chinese philosophy and thought as well as the inspired ideal personality which is preoccupied with a man-centered social system and ethic-oriented social norms. His dissertation, "The Guanxi (Interpersonal Relations) of Chinese Communist Elite: Theory and Practice," established a theoretical model of guanxi in Chinese interactions as exemplified in a study of Chinese Communist Party elite politics. While guanxi is used as an instrument to acquire social resources or political advantages, Guo argued that it also functions as a social norm to comply with social rituals, as a vehicle for communicating emotional attachments, and as a moral obligation to uphold mutual dependence and to ensure mutual stability between people within their networks. In this respect, Guo fundamentally disagreed with the prevalent view of guanxi as consisting only of cunning tactics for pursuing individual personal interests.

Fellowship year: 2002

Mentor: Lowell Dittmer, University of California, Berkeley

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