Varieties of Governance in China: Migration and Institutional Change in Chinese Villages

ISBN : 9780199378746

Jie Lu
312 Pages
162 x 242 mm
Pub date
Jan 2015
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It is well understood that "good institutions" are essential for good governance. But even institutions that follow similar designs vary significantly with regard to performance across countries and even across regions within the same country. Following China's abolishment of the Commune system to accommodate market-oriented reforms in the 1980s, decentralized, grassroots democracy was introduced in rural China in order to improve the quality of local governance. In this book, Jie Lu looks at variance among local governance institutions in China to examine under what conditions indigenously cultivated institutions are able to succeed, particularly under pressures of economic modernization. Lu argues that any governance institution can perform effectively as long as it can produce collective action and accountability, but that the relative effectiveness of institutions is contingent upon the social environment in which they are embedded. When economic conditions prompt outward migration, social environments are reshaped such that rules-based national institutions will trump indigenous forms. In identifying the optimal social conditions for the good performance of different governance institutions and theorizing the effects of social change on these institutions, Lu deepens understanding of how institutions, particularly in developing countries, change, and under what conditions institutional modernization or engineering may succeed or fail. Varieties of Governance in China is the first book to use a coherent framework to simultaneously examine various aspects of rural China's governance-including public goods provision, conflict resolution, disaster and crisis relief, and raising modest credit and small loans-covering both formal and informal institutions. It is also the first book to systematically examine how community structural transformation, primarily driven by rural-urban migration, affects the performance and change of institutions in rural China, as well as their implications for Chinese villages' decentralized governance.


Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Local Governance in Transformed Communities
Chapter 3. Evolution of China's Rural Governance and Rural-Urban Migration
Chapter 4. Local Publi Goods Provision, Institutional Performance, and Rural-Urban Migration in Chinese Villages
Chapter 5. Transformed Social Foundations of Governance in Rural China: Rural-Urban Migration and Social Environments in Chinese Villages
Chapter 6. Rural-Urban Migration and Contextualized Institutional Choices in Rural China
Chapter 7. Conclusion
Chapter 8. Epilogue: New Opportunities for Rural China's Governance?
Chapter 1 Appendix: 2008 Asia Barometer Survey Mainland China Survey (ABSMCS) and 2008 National Village Survey (NVS)
Chapter 4 Appendix: Multivariate Probit Regression (MPR)
Chapter 5 Appendix
Chapter 6 Appendix
Reference List

About the author: 

Jie Lu is Assistant Professor of Government at American University and co-author of The Anglo-American Special Relationship and British Policy toward China.

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