The Chinese Communist Youth League is the largest youth political organization in the world, with over 80 million members. Former Chinese President Hu Jintao was a firm supporter of the League, and believed that it could play a bigger role in winning the hearts and minds of Chinese youth by actively engaging with their interests and demands. Accordingly, he provided the League with a new youth work mandate to increase its capacity for responsiveness under the slogan 'keep the Party assured and the youth satisfied'. This original investigation of the hitherto-unexamined organization uses a combination of interviews, surveys and ethnography to explore how the League implemented Hu’s mandate at both local and national levels, exposing the contradictory nature of some of its campaigns. By doing so, it also sheds light on the reasons for Xi Jinping’s turn against the League during his first term in office.
The Chinese Communist Youth League: Juniority and Responsiveness in a Party Youth Organization develops the original concept of ‘juniority’ to capture the complex ways that generational power is institutionalized, alienating young people from official political processes, with significant implications for China’s political development. The book will be of interest to researchers and students of Chinese politics, as well as to scholars of comparative youth politics and sociology.