Megan Whipp

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Mahendra Lawoti

Second Advisor

Dr. Victor Xiong

Third Advisor

Dr. Sybil Rhodes

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


My research will look at the reasons for China's lack of democracy. China has become increasingly developed giving the Chinese people greater wealth, improved education, and better access to healthcare. Based on Seymour Lipset's 1963 study which finds economic development fosters democracy, China should have become democratic. But, China is not a democracy.

The methodology employed in this study is a case study. A case study ensures an in-depth analysis of the relevant factors which could affect China's prospects for democracy. This study advances the understanding of China's continued authoritarian rule finding two factors especially influential. The first factor is the repressive strength of the Chinese Communist Party. Secondly, the lack of opposition to the Chinese government from the intelligentsia, entrepreneurs, and middle class has also hindered democratization. The conclusion of this thesis provides two further ideas for future research which may increase our comprehension of this political phenomenon.