Om Cultural Logic of Politics in Mainland C
Tianjian Shi shows how cultural norms affect political attitudes and behavior through two causal pathways, one at the individual level and one at the community level. Focusing on two key norms - definition of self-interest and orientation to authority - he tests the theory with multiple surveys conducted in mainland China and Taiwan. Shi employs multi-level statistical analysis to show how, in these two very different political systems, similar norms exert similar kinds of influence on political trust, understanding of democracy, forms of political participation, and tolerance for protest. The approach helps to explain the resilience of authoritarian politics in China and the dissatisfaction of many Taiwan residents with democratic institutions. Aiming to place the study of political culture on a new theoretical and methodological foundation, Shi argues that a truly comparative social science must understand how culturally embedded norms influence decision making.