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Zhao, Yongfei (2014) POLICY PROCESS AND CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN CHINESE LOCAL GOVERNMENT. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Do Chinese citizens participate in their local policy process? Scholars from different standpoints see the answer differently. Conventional wisdoms believe that determined by the China’s single party authoritarian rule, there are limited channels for citizens to participate and the power of their participation is also restricted to merely their economic interests, which can never reach the ultimate outcome of Western-style political democratization. However, in this study, the author identifies two important variables – citizen participation and accountability structural change – that are crucial to the changes of Chinese local policy processes from agenda setting to policymaking and to implementation, which in turn alter the direction of Chinese political reform.

The author examines the impact of these two variables on the policy change in Chinese local government from four aspects: formal and routine government policy processes, citizen-driven collective resistance to unpopular policies, government efforts to reform formal policy processes, and coproduction of local social welfare services between grassroots government and NGOs. The author concludes that regardless of some scholars’ pessimism toward Chinese political changes, there are clear signs of gradual movement from the traditional authoritarian accountability structure toward a more participatory policy process. Although no straightforward Western-style democratic political institutions are being established, Chinese local government is marching toward a direction of citizen-driven policy process and downward accountability structure.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairPeters, B Guybgpeters@pitt.eduBGPETERS
Committee CoChairKearns, Kevinkkearns@pitt.eduKKEARNS
Committee MemberMiller, David Youngdymiller@pitt.eduDYMILLER
Committee MemberBurns, John
Date: 29 September 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 2 May 2014
Approval Date: 29 September 2014
Submission Date: 18 August 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 183
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public and International Affairs > Public and International Affairs
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: policy process, Chinese local government, government reform, government innovation, NGO
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2014 17:41
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:23


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