In China’s and Vietnam’s latest party congresses, the candidates for promotion with the highest public profiles failed to advance. In China, neither the “populist” Bo Xilai nor the “liberal” Wang Yang won a seat in the Politburo Standing Committee. In Vietnam, the charismatic Da Nang party secretary Nguyen Ba Thanh also failed to win a new position. Dr. Schuler will present a theory with evidence showing that the link between these candidates’ visibility and non-promotion was not accidental. His finding that the public profile of a candidate has an independent effect on his or her chance of advancement improves an analytic debate hitherto focused mainly on loyalty and performance.
Paul Schuler will be an assistant professor in government and public policy at the University of Arizona starting this fall. His publications have appeared in the American Political Science Review, the Legislative Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of East Asian Studies among other places. His researches focuses on institutions, elite politics, and public opinion in authoritarian regimes, particularly Vietnam. His 2014 PhD in political science is from the University of California, San Diego.