Twenty years after the launch of village elections, the time is ripe to assess the progress and impact of China’s most notable political reform. Where have elections been conducted well and where have they been conducted poorly? How have procedures changed over the years and have elections truly transformed how power is exercised in the countryside? What methods are researchers employing to study elections and how have scholars from different disciplines contributed to our knowledge of grassroots politics in China?
This book carefully examines the implementation and effects of China’s village, township, and people’s congress elections, both in terms of democratizing the polity and spurring other changes in state-society relations.
The chapters in this book have been published across several issues of the Journal of Contemporary China.
"Grassroots Elections in China is an indispensable work for anyone interested in the ongoing massive changes in China’s rural areas." - Paul Charon, EHESS (Schools for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences), Paris; China Perspectives, issue 2011/3
1. Introduction: China’s Grassroots Elections Kevin J. O’Brien Part 1: Assessing Village Elections 2. Path to Democracy? Assessing Village Elections in China Kevin J. O'Brien and Rongbin Han 3. How to Assess Village Elections in China Melanie Manion 4. Studying 'Democratic' Governance in Contemporary China: Looking at the Village is Not Enough Gunter Schubert 5. Legitimacy with Chinese Characteristics: 'Two Increases, One Reduction' John James Kennedy 6. Institutionalizing Village Governance in China Bjorn Alpermann 7. Building Democratic Infrastructure: Village Electoral Institutions Qingshan Tan Part 2: Studies of Village Elections 8. Power to the People? Villagers' Self-Rule in a North China Village from the Locals’ Point of View Zongze Hu 9. Village Elections and Governance: Do Villagers' Care? Qingshan Tan and Xin Qiushui 10. Women's Political Participation in China: In Whose Interest Elections? Jude Howell 11. The Impact of Elections on the Village Structure of Power: The Relations between Village Committees and the Party Branches Guo Zhenglin and Thomas Bernstein Part 3: Elections and the Local Economy 12. Elections, Democratic Values, and Economic Development in Rural China David Zweig and Chung Siu Fung 13. Economic Development and the Implementation of Village Elections in Rural China Rong Hu 14. Economic Development and Village Elections in Rural China Tianjian Shi Part 4: Township and People’s Congress Elections 15. Direct Township Elections in China: Latest Developments and Prospects Dong Lisheng 16. Independent Candidates in China’s Local People’s Congresses: A Typology He Junzhi