1st Edition

Community Governance in China History and Reality

By Wu Xiaolin Copyright 2025
    360 Pages 42 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book provides an overview of China's distinctive community governance, examining its 2000-year history and describing its recent development under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.

    The book presents new insights into community governance in China. It explores the historical genesis of community governance in imperial China, providing a link that helps to understand the relationship between ancient and modern community governance. By explaining the practical differences between 'centralised governance' and 'networked governance' in these contexts, it moves away from the myth of Tönniesian community and dissects the conceptual differences between Chinese and Western communities. This book is unique in its focus on the economic structure that underlies community governance and its identification of the root cause. It also investigates China's "poli-community" and the relationship between the state, society and the family. Finally, the book proposes a potential approach for transitioning from a binary opposition between the state and society to a new mechanism of 'state-created society' and building 'associated communities'.

    This volume will be a valuable reference for scholars and students of Chinese politics, public management and sociology, as well as for practitioners of community governance.

    1. What is Community? What Constitutes a Community?  2. Village-Based Governance: “Community Governance” in Ancient China  3. The First-Round Reform: Formation and Irradiation of the SO-RC System  4. The Second-round Reform: Trial of “Separation of Residential Committees and Community Work Stations, and Government-Society Cooperation”  5. Vivid Stories: Typical Practices of Government-Community Cooperation  6. A New Orientation in the New Era: The System of Community Governance  7. The Political Party in the Community: Political and Social Constructions  8. Formation of the Poli-community: Governing Authority, Service and Life  9. Transformation of Community Governance: Tradition and Development of the Relationship between Family and State


    Wu Xiaolin is currently a professor and the dean of the Zhou Enlai School of Government at Nankai University, China. His research interests are urban governance and political development.