China’s Changing Domestic Security Doctrine under Xi Jinping
This paper argues that a wide range of changes to domestic security policy under Xi Jinping since 2013 are the result of a fundamental change in the country’s internal security doctrine and national security strategy. Drawing on literature from international relations and foreign policy analysis, it suggests that we can conclude a doctrinal change has occurred if a) the state redefines the nature of the threats it faces, b) articulates a new theory/approach of how to address these threats, and c) operationalizes those changes in organization, law, and procurement. In China’s case, the new theory of threats and remedies was signaled in 2013-14 by the launch of the comprehensive national security concept and China’s first ever National Security Strategy; subsequent reforms to the budget, political-legal infrastructure, and legal framework for national security have all been explicitly linked to these conceptual formulations and their objective of “prevention and control.” Theoretically, this suggests that current scholarship on strategy, derived largely from Western cases that treat strategy as an external and military-focused concept, need to be rethought to incorporate the large number of countries whose conception of security is fundamentally internal as much as external.


Sheena Chestnut Greitens is Associate Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, and an affiliate of both the Strauss Center and Clements Center for National Security. From 2015-2020, she was assistant professor of political science at the University of Missouri. Her research focuses on American national security, East Asia, and authoritarian politics and foreign policy. Her first book, Dictators and their Secret Police: Coercive Institutions and State Violence (Cambridge, 2016) received the 2017 Best Book Award from both the International Studies Association and the Comparative Democratization section of the American Political Science Association. She holds a doctorate from Harvard University; an M.Phil from Oxford University, where she studied as a Marshall Scholar; and a bachelor’s from Stanford University. She is currently working on a book manuscript on China’s domestic security policies and their implications for global politics.


Faculty host: Prof Kellee Tsai(Dean of SHSS)
Speaker(s) Prof Sheena Chestnut Greitens
Associate Professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin
Date 10 Nov 2020 (Tuesday)
Time 10:00-11:30am (HKT)
Venue Online Via Zoom

Register HERE for Seminar

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