1st Edition

Grassroots Elections in China

Edited By Kevin O'Brien, Suisheng Zhao Copyright 2011
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    252 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    Introduction: Kevin J. O’Brien (UC Berkeley) -- China’s Grassroots Elections

    Part I: Assessing Village Elections

    Chapter 1. Kevin J. O'Brien (UC Berkeley) and Rongbin Han (UC Berkeley) -- "Path to Democracy? Assessing Village Elections in China"

    Chapter 2. Melanie Manion (University of Wisconsin-Madison) -- "How to Assess Village Elections in China"

    Chapter 3. Gunter Schubert (University of Tuebingen, Germany) -- "Studying 'Democratic' Governance in Contemporary China: Looking at the Village is Not Enough"

    Chapter 4. John James Kennedy (University of Kansas) -- "Legitimacy with Chinese Characteristics: 'Two Increases, One Reduction'"

    Chapter 5. Bjorn Alpermann (Wuerzburg University, Germany) -- "Institutionalizing Village Governance in China"

    Chapter 6. Qingshan Tan (Cleveland State University) -- "Building Democratic Infrastructure: Village Electoral Institutions"

    Part II: Studies of Village Elections

    Chapter 7. Zongze Hu (Harvard University) -- "Power to the People? Villagers' Self-Rule in a North China Village from the Locals’ Point of View"

    Chapter 8. Qingshan Tan (Cleveland State University) and Xin Qiushui (Anhui Academy of Social Sciences, China) -- "Village Elections and Governance: Do Villagers' Care?"

    Chapter 9. Jude Howell (London School of Economics and Political Science) -- "Women's Political Participation in China: In Whose Interest Elections?"

    Chapter 10. Guo Zhenglin (Zhongshan University, Guangzhou, China) and Thomas Bernstein (Columbia University) -- "The Impact of Elections on the Village Structure of Power: The Relations between Village Committees and the Party Branches"

    Part III. Elections and the Local Economy

    Chapter 11. David Zweig (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) and Chung Siu Fung (John Cathedral HIV Education Center, Hong Kong) -- "Elections, Democratic Values, and Economic Development in Rural China"

    Chapter 12. Rong Hu (Xiamen University, China) -- "Economic Development and the Implementation of Village Elections in Rural China"

    Chapter 13. Tianjian Shi (Duke University) -- "Economic Development and Village Elections in Rural China"

    Part IV: Township and People’s Congress Elections

    Chapter 14. Dong Lisheng (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing) -- "Direct Township Elections in China: Latest Developments and Prospects"

    Chapter 15. He Junzhi (Fudan University) -- "Independent Candidates in China’s Local People’s Congresses: A Typology"


    Kevin J. O’Brien is Alann P. Bedford Professor of Asian Studies and Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, USA.

    Suisheng Zhao is Editor of the Journal of Contemporary China, and Professor and Executive Director at the Center for China-US Cooperation, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, USA.

    "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