Changing the brains
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The “China paradox” refers to the successful coexistence of communism and capitalism in China. Much of the literature on authoritarian resilience tries to explain the paradox by focusing on institutions but lacks a mechanism of change. This dissertation provides the mechanism of change by looking at the roles of leaders and their worldviews. Borrowing from the human needs paradigm of political development and sociology of profession, leaders are divided into two types: those whose worldview is responsive to diverse social needs and those whose worldview is unresponsive. The quantitative and qualitative methods are used to analyze the leadership transitions and adaptation policy making at both central and provincial levels. The results show that the Chinese Communist Party has successfully maintained resilience because it has replaced unresponsive leaders with responsive ones when social needs diversify as a result of development. Consequently, the rise of responsive leaders facilitated the adoption and implementation of adaptation policies.