1st Edition

Local Government Innovativeness in China

By Youlang Zhang Copyright 2021
    108 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    108 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Local government innovation has become one of the most important topics on China’s policy agenda in recent decades. This book explains why some local governments are more innovative than others.

    This book uses a novel theoretical framework and points out that in China’s multi-level government structure, the administrative hierarchy and the span of control could shape local governments’ innovation motivation, innovation capability, and innovation opportunity, thus influencing local government innovativeness. The author systematically analysed the 177 winners and finalists of the biennial Innovations and Excellence in Chinese Local Governance (IECLG) Awards Programme from 2001 to 2015 to provide convincing empirical evidence to support this theory.

    This book adopts an institutional approach to explaining local government innovativeness in China and may be a useful reference to help us learn more about local government decisions and behaviours.  

    1. Introduction 2. Explanations for Local Government Innovation in China 3. An Institutional Theory of Local Government Innovativeness 4. The Innovations and Excellence in Chinese Local Governance Awards Programme 5. An Empirical Investigation Based on the IECLG Awards Programme 6. Conclusion. Appendix


    Youlang Zhang, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the School of Public Administration and Policy at Renmin University of China. His research interests include policy process, citizen participation, and bureaucratic politics. His recent publications have appeared in Public Administration Review, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Administration, Policy Studies Journal, Public Management Review, International Public Management Journal, China Quarterly, and other journals.


    "Zhang’s inverse U-shaped relationship between the administrative hierarchy and local innovation contributes to understanding variation across subnational government [… and] the data from the awards offers an interesting glimpse into a period of experimentalism that appears to be ending, or at least changing dramatically."

    Dr. Jessica Teets, Middlebury College, USA. Review in China Quarterly.