Prof Sheena Chestnut Greitens, LBJ School of Public Affairs, the University of Texas at Austin
This paper argues that a wide range of changes to domestic security policy under Xi Jinping since 2013 are the result of a fundamental change in the country's internal security doctrine and national security strategy. Drawing on literature from international relations and foreign policy analysis, it suggests that we can conclude a doctrinal change has occurred if a) the state redefines the nature of the threats it faces, b) articulates a new theory/approach of how to address these threats, and c) operationalizes those changes in organization, law, and procurement. In China's case, the new theory of threats and remedies was signaled in 2013-14 by the launch of the comprehensive national security concept and China's first ever National Security Strategy; subsequent reforms to the budget, political-legal infrastructure, and legal framework for national security have all been explicitly linked to these conceptual formulations and their objective of "prevention and control." Theoretically, this suggests that current scholarship on strategy, derived largely from Western cases that treat strategy as an external and military-focused concept, need to be rethought to incorporate the large number of countries whose conception of security is fundamentally internal as much as external.
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