192 pages | 2 B/W Illus.
This book explores non-electoral means of public participation in contemporary China, both as an outcome of and a key contributor to the party-state’s efforts to improve its governing capacity.
Examining consultative meetings, public hearings and the use of surveys and questionnaires in Zhejiang province, on an empirical level, the study evaluates the historical development, and institutional backgrounds of these mechanisms, as well as provides a critical assessment of their achievements and failures. At the same time, on a theoretical level, this book contributes to the broader scholarship on contemporary Chinese politics and political development within one-party regimes, as well as debates about state building and democratization. Relying on the distinction between access to and exercise of power, it concludes that non-electoral public participation is in fact a function of state building. Developing a state capable of producing effective solutions to governing challenges, it is argued, requires public participation in the governing process.
With analysis informed by interviews with local-level policy-makers and officials, academics and citizens’ representatives and activists, Public Participation and State Building in China will be a valuable research resource for students and scholars of Chinese politics, political science and civil society.
2. Making Sense of Participatory Politics within China’s One-Party System
3. Local Government Innovation: Legitimising Public Participation as a Means of State Building
4. Public Hearings
5. Consultative Meetings
6. The Use of Surveys and Questionnaires
7. Conclusions and Implications