Towards Responsible Government in East Asia

Trajectories, Intentions and Meanings

Edited by Linda Chelan Li

© 2016 – Routledge

152 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415453165
pub: 2009-04-06
US Dollars$168.00

About the Book

This book explores the idea of responsible government in East Asia, arguing that many recent governance crises have resulted from responsibility failures on a huge scale. It distinguishes between accountability, which it argues has been overemphasised recently, and responsibility, which it argues goes beyond accountability, true responsible government involving the actor in feeling liable for and taking responsibility for his or her actions. It shows how historically the concept of responsibility is more embedded in political discussions in Asia, whereas the concepts of democracy and accountability are more embedded in the intellectual traditions of Europe, but that the challenges of revolution and post-revolution, decolonization and post-colonization and neo-liberal globalization have complicated matters. Drawing on a wide range of case studies from East Asia, and relating the concepts discussed to political theory, ethics and social psychology, the book shows how actors in government and society interact to deliberate, produce or distract from the practice and perception of “responsible government”, and suggests how the concept of “responsible government”, better defined, might be encouraged to produce better governance.


'Towards Responsible Government in East Asia is a noteworthy contribution to existing literature on this subject and a step in a timely and, indeed, worthy direction.' - P.M. Yeophantong, The Australian National University, The China Journal, No. 63

Table of Contents

Introduction: Towards and Away from Responsible Government Linda Chelan Li 1. The Genesis of Responsible Government under Authoritarian Condition: Taiwan during Martial Law Tak-Wing Ngo and Yi-chi Chen 2. Contractual Thinking and Responsible Government in China: A Constructivist Framework for Analysis Chengxin Pan 3. Dual Dimensions of Responsibility: The Internal Disciplinary Regulations of the Chinese Communist Party Ting Gong 4. Failing to Treat: Why Public Hospitals in China do not Work? Waikeung Tam 5. Working for the Peasants? Strategic Interactions and Unintended Consequences in the Chinese Rural Tax Reform Linda Chelan Li 6. Whose Responsibility? The Marginalization of Personal Responsibility and Moral Character Ho Mun Chan 7. In Lieu of a Conclusion Daniel Bell. Bibliography. Index

About the Editor

Linda Chelan Li is Associate Professor in the Department of Public and Social Administration, City University of Hong Kong. She specializes in intergovernmental relations and political economy in China. She is Founding Fellow of the (former) Centre for Research on Provincial China in Australia and member of the Editorial Board of the journal, Provincial China. She had an early career with the Hong Kong government and several Legislative Councillors, and has been a regular commentator on local and Chinese politics in the local and international media.

About the Series

Comparative Development and Policy in Asia

The primary aim of this series is to publish original, high quality, research level work, by both new and established scholars in the West and East, on all aspects of development and policy in Asia. 

The scope of the series is broad, and aims to cover both comparative and single country studies, including work from a range of disciplines.  With particular reference to how Asian states have coped with the growing challenges of globalising economies and the ways in which national governments in Asia have changed their public policy strategies and governance models in order to sustain further economic growth, the series will bring together development studies, and public policy and governance analysis, and will cover subjects such as: economic development; governance models; the factors underpinning the immense economic achievements of different countries; the social, political, cultural, and environmental implications of economic restructuring; public policy reforms; technological and educational innovation; international co-operation; and the fate and political impact of people who have been excluded from the growth.  The series will include both empirical material and comparative analysis; and both single authored books and edited collections.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / Comparative