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Political Culture and Participation in Rural China by Yang Zhong

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5 Political legitimacy and support

As early as the 1960s, Easton's breakthrough study of different political systems claimed that for any political system to survive it has to have a certain degree of support from its population (one of the two input functions described in his application of systems theory to political science).1 Before the 1960s, authoritarian political systems, such as the former Soviet Union, were seen as lacking essential popular political support and legitimacy. Easton's study was later supported by research evidence which showed that popular support for the political regime from sizable societal segments is crucial for the functioning and maintenance of any form of government.2 In general, levels of political support ...

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