Thesis Title

Dynamics for Democracy: Scenarios for Democratic Revolution in the People's Republic of China

Date of Graduation

Spring 2007


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Bradley Thayer


This study proposes a conceptual framework for understanding the dynamics of democratic revolution in the People's Republic of China (PRC). It is argued that there are four specific avenues to democracy in China: (1) revolution that originates internally from the upper-echelons of the PRC government and flows down through Chinese society; (2) revolution that originates internally but rises up from the mass populace; (3) democracy due to external events that force change within the PRC leadership; and (4) external factors that lead to popular calls for revolution from the lower rungs of Chinese society. For each of these four scenarios, a historical example is provided that shows the given scenario leading to democracy in other nations throughout history. The historical examples are then applied to modern China. In light of this analysis, the study concludes that China's future is uncertain. While communism continues to exercise control over the PRC, the potential avenues to democratic revolution are numerous and historically valid.


China, Asia, revolution, democracy, Communism

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Jason Douglas Wood