APP Affiliate Dr. Xiaobo Lü, Associate Professor at the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin, received the 2021-22 VPR Research Grant, which he will use to investigate the origins of strong parties through the lens of elite conflict and party-building strategies. Lü focuses on the early stage of party formation of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Kuomintang (KMT) and investigates their legacies on the party's mobilization capacity before and after 1949. The empirical contribution of this project is a new dataset that will trace – in fine-grained and unprecedented detail – the development of grassroots party organizations and fiscal capacity in China from 1921 to 2000. By developing this dataset, Lü will buttress the theory and enable others to investigate important aspects of governance in China. Hence, this project contributes to the field of comparative studies of political parties and authoritarian regimes.