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 democratisation. 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.
Table of Contents
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
Dragan Pavlićević is an Associate Professor in China Studies at Xi’an
Jiaotong – Liverpool University, China. He holds a PhD from the University
of Nottingham and was previously Visiting Research Fellow at the East
Asian Institute, National University of Singapore.