Elite formation in state socialism is a key issue in both comparative mobility research and political sociology. Several perspectives have been proposed to explain the relative role of political loyalty and education in political mobility: a dual career path model, a party-sponsored mobility hypothesis, and a technocracy thesis. I propose an alternative approach, emphasizing the role of functional differentiation and its effect on elite recruitment in China. Using a data set on top Chinese leaders (n = 1588), I find that effects of political loyalty and technical training on elite recruitment are patterned by institutional arrangements. Data analysis supports my explanation of elite selection in China.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.