China's Governance Puzzle
Enabling Transparency and Participation in a Single-Party State
- Jonathan R. Stromseth, Brookings Institution, Washington DC
- Edmund J. Malesky, Duke University, North Carolina
- Dimitar D. Gueorguiev, Syracuse University, New York
China is widely viewed as a global powerhouse that has achieved a remarkable economic transformation with little political change. Less well known is that China's leaders have also implemented far‐reaching governance reforms designed to promote government transparency and increase public participation in official policymaking. What are the motivations behind these reforms and, more importantly, what impact are they having? This puzzle lies at the heart of Chinese politics and could dictate China's political trajectory for years to come. This extensive collaborative study not only documents the origins and scope of these reforms across China, but offers the first systematic assessment by quantitatively and qualitatively analyzing the impact of participation and transparency on important governance outcomes. Comparing across provinces and over time, the authors argue that the reforms are resulting in lower corruption and enhanced legal compliance, but these outcomes also depend on a broader societal ecosystem that includes an active media and robust civil society.Read more
- Offers a detailed study of governance reform in a single-party state, shedding new light on authoritarian institutions
- Brings together a team of experts from both in and outside China to offer new information and place Chinese governance in a comparative perspective
- Cutting-edge quantitative and qualitative methodology provides a model of integrated research design
Reviews & endorsements
'This illuminating volume changes the way you think about the role of information in China. The authors make a powerful case that, even amid tight political control, transparency is altering China's government, with deep implications for the economic and political future.' Evan Osnos, National Book Award-winning author of Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New ChinaSee more reviews
'In this thoughtful and well-documented work, the authors challenge conventional wisdom about the absence of political reform in China. Through fascinating case studies, they demonstrate the diversity of reform practices in China and identify areas of success and failure.' J. Stapleton Roy, former US ambassador to China
'This is a highly rigorous yet very readable study of how authoritarian governance in China works and does not work to achieve policy objectives and maintain domestic stability. The authors bring to bear a rare combination of practical on-the-ground experience and formal academic training to analyze one of the Chinese Communist Party's greatest dilemmas: how to improve governance and bolster state legitimacy by allowing popular opinions to be heard in the policy process without ever hinting that the broad public will or should gain direct control over who governs or how.' Thomas Christensen, Princeton University, New Jersey and author of The China Challenge: Shaping the Choices of a Rising Power
'This book provides excellent empirical strategies to scholars, students and policymakers interested in the successes and failures of Chinese governance reforms and policy innovations. As the authors demonstrate, Chinese policymakers are increasingly adopting better governance practices to stave off political threats. Moreover, these reforms are not just window-dressing; they have changed the way laws are enacted and compliance is at least partly achieved.' Mary E. Gallagher, Director of the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan
'The authors skillfully blend the latest statistics on corruption with illuminating case studies to argue that enlisting the Chinese public to monitor the bureaucracy would yield better results than continuing the current heavy-handed crackdown that targets corrupt individuals one at a time.' Yuen Yuen Ang, Foreign Affairs
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- Date Published: March 2017
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9781108216012
- contains: 33 b/w illus. 1 map 14 tables
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
1. China's approach to governance reform
2. Concept, chronology, and drivers of transparency reform
3. Transparency and corruption: analysis of variation within China and hypothesis testing
4. Comparing approaches to combatting corruption: the Guangdong and Chongqing models
5. Concept, chronology, and drivers of participation reform
6. Participation and compliance: analysis of variation and hypothesis testing
7. Making policy in public: a comparison of three Chinese provinces
8. The road ahead
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