Programming China: The Communist Party’s Autonomic Approach to Managing State Security

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has developed a form of authoritarianism that cannot be measured through traditional political scales like “reform” versus “retrenchment”. This version of authoritarianism involves co-opting and coercing society into participating in its own management. I.e. “self-management”. Examples of this dynamic range from the increasingly sophisticated surveillance state to the nascent social credit system.

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Managing the State: Social Credit, Surveillance and the CCP’s Plan for China

On July 20, the Chinese government released its Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan. [1] The plan has gained significant media attention in part because it links AI with another topic that has drawn a considerable amount of attention, China’s “social credit system” (社会信用体系). Social credit uses big-data collection and analysis, to monitor, shape and rate individual’s behavior. While advances in artificial intelligence, and the growth of the surveillance state are all noteworthy on their own, China’s social credit program explicitly links them as parts of a broader political control process known as “social management” (社会管理)…
Party-state Security

“Programming China: The Communist Party’s Autonomic Approach to Managing State Security.” MERICS Monitor No. 44, 12 December 2017.

“China’s State Security Strategy: ‘Everyone is Responsible’.” The Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s The Strategist, 11 December 2017. Republished as IISS Expert Commentary on 14 December 2017 and as a Mercator Institute for China Studies blog on 15 December 2017.

“Chinese Legislation Points to New Intelligence Co-ordinating System.” co-authored with Peter Mattis, Jane’s Intelligence Review, October 2017.

“Managing the State: Social Credit, Surveillance and the CCP’s Plan for China.” China Brief, 9 August 2017.

“What Could China’s ‘Social Credit System’ Mean for its Citizens?” Contribution in China File conversation co-authored with Peter Mattis, also published in Foreign Policy, August 2016.

“Managing the Power from Within: China’s State Security Commission.” co-authored with Peter Mattis, War on the Rocks, 18 July 2016.

“Ensuring Comprehensive State Security in the ‘Ideological Battleground’ Online.” China Brief, 16 November 2015.

“Inside China’s New Security Council.” The National Interest, co-authored with Peter Mattis, 21 November 2013.

“China’s Proposed ‘State Security Council’: Social governance under Xi Jinping.” co-authored with Peter Mattis, China Policy Institute Blog, 21 November 2013.

“Power Vacuum: China Attempts to Clean up Corruption.” Jane’s Intelligence Review, 1 November 2013

“Portents of Change in China’s Social Management.” China Brief, 3 August 2012.


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