To a degree insufficiently captured by the term governance, the present age is one of institutional complexity. China is a case in point. An amalgam of socialist, capitalist, corporatist, and pluralist characteristics, China's systems of governance defy classification using extant categories in the institutionalist literature. What, after all, is a socialist market system?
A Phenomenology of Institutions begins with the problem of describing emergent institutional phenomena using conventional typologies. Constructing a new descriptive framework for rendering new, hybrid, and flexible institutional designs, Raul Lejano, Jia Guo, Hongping Lian, and Bo Yin propose new descriptors, involving concepts of autopoeisis, textuality, and relationality, that might better describe new and emergent models of governance. The authors illustrate the utility of this framework with a number of case studies, each dealing with a different aspect of Chinese legal and civic institutions and comparing these with 'Western' models.
This book will be a valuable resource for institutional scholars in the fields of public policy, political science, organization studies, public administration, and international development, studying new and emergent forms of governance.
1. Introduction: The Phenomenology of Institutional Innovation
2. Developing New Modes of Institutional Description
3. Governing by Metaphor: The Intertextuality of Institutional Life in China
4. Relationality in Rural Property Regimes
5. Relational Institutions and ENGOs in China: From Nu River to Changzhou
6. Multiple Legal Traditions, Legal Pluralism and Institutional Innovation: The Chinese Criminal Procedure System in Contrast
7. Conclusion: China, The Looking-Glass
'This is a must read book for those interested in the study of institutional diversity and for those who are interested in the evolution of institutions in developing countries particularly China.' - Eduardo Araral, Associate Professor, National University of Singapore
'Lejano, Guo, Lian, and Yin recognize the deficiencies of existing conceptions of institutions, as evidenced by the rapid growth of "democracy with adjectives" scholarship, and rectify this by constructing a framework for new, hybrid, and evolving institutional designs. This framework for analyzing new and emergent models of governance relies on the concept of relationality, rather than rationality in a Weberian tradition, and explains why so many formal institutional designs are only partly specified and the rest is constituted through interactions between networks of policy actors. This is an important and innovative book for institutional scholars to read, as well as those who study Chinese governance.' - Jessica C. Teets, Associate Professor, Middlebury College