Xi Jinping and the return of a personality cult in China?

14:00 to 16:00
Monday Lecture

Stockholm University welcomes to a Monday lecture by Nicola Spakowski, Professor, University of Freiburg, Germany.

Since Xi Jinping took office in 2012/13, he has accumulated power unprecedented in the history of post-Mao China. After the Cultural Revolution, the Communist Party of China had installed the principle of “collective leadership” and introduced a number of provisions against the rise of another strongman who would lead China into chaos. Xi overrode this principle, recentralized power and resorted to tools of personalized rule that are reminiscent of the Mao cult. This talk will introduce the concept of “personality cult”, discuss its usefulness and interpret evidence of Xi’s personalized rule. How is Xi portrayed in propaganda material and how is his image disseminated? What are the commonalities and differences between Xi’s position in China’s authoritarian system and the Mao cult? Is Xi a new Mao?

Stockholm University