Local Market Socialism: Local Corporatism in Action in Rural China

Duke University
Theory and Society (Impact Factor: 1.06). 05/1995; 24(3):301-354. DOI: 10.1007/BF00993350
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    • "Most studies on local government in China have been focused on China's fragmented authoritarian state structure, its economic activism or on the cadre personnel management system which determines local officials' methods of promotion; very few have paid attention to the issues related to how local officials respond to environmental sustainability and the rural social development demands of upper-level governments (for exceptions, see more recent studies by Heberer & Senz [2011]; Kostka & Hobbs [2012]; Tilt [2009]). The economic activism of the Chinese local government has been well documented by many scholars (Lin, 1995; Oi, 1992, 1995; Walder, 1995). The actions taken by local governments in relation to economic development have been reflected by the concerted manner in which economic growth is pursued in the market reform era; each level of the state bureaucracy has its own goals, and those at the lower levels are subject to the directives of the higher levels. "
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    ABSTRACT: Small Hydropower is regarded by the Chinese state as a method for both poverty alleviation and environmental protection in rural areas. This paper finds that local government officials develop an ‘environmentally bundled economic interests’ approach that simultaneously fulfills the central state’s new political mission and local economic development demand. The small hydropower plants however have paradoxically become the destroyer of the environment as local government at different levels develop the plants in an un-coordinated manner. We use the growth of small hydropower in Yunnan province as an exemplar to show the new tendency and problems of China’s environmental governance.
    Journal of Development Studies 07/2015; DOI:10.1080/00220388.2014.973860 · 0.79 Impact Factor
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    • "In Russia local identities of ethnic Russians are almost absent, but ethnic identities resulted in the formation of ethnic elites. 7 The allocation of rents employs the following three means: state monopolies (Du and Wang 2013), procurement contracts handed to SOEs and the 'national champion' firms (Laffont 2004), and the allocation of 'cheap' credits and loans (Lin 1995). "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this paper is to investigate under which conditions non-democratic political regimes are capable of making credible commitments to maintain a certain level of local autonomy and to incentivize local bureaucrats. For this purpose, we compare two big non-democratic countries—Russia and China. While China has managed to establish a relatively stable system, with substantial decision-making rights resting with sub-national governments, in Russia relations between the center and the regions have been highly unstable and driven primarily by the extent to which central elites consolidated their power. We argue that China has been able to make credible commitments because its non-democratic rule is based on competition between vertical elite networks that span regional and central political arenas, and because the country has limited access to natural resources: these two characteristics explain the difference between the two cases we investigate.
    Constitutional Political Economy 12/2014; 26(2). DOI:10.1007/s10602-014-9181-z
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    • "In the Chinese context, the legitimacy of the state and its authoritarian tradition supported a strong state role. This state-centered explanation is, however, different from the market transition thesis (Lin, 1995). "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper analyzes the recent fiscal crisis among villages in the city of Dongguan. The city has been an exemplar of export-oriented growth in China. Rapid economic development has been attributed to local state entrepreneurial governance based on a close relationship between the local state and enterprises. However, this development approach has led to a severe fiscal crisis, especially at the village level, due to declining rental incomes, ineffective village governance and a heavy burden of public service expenditure following the global financial crisis. This paper examines the configuration of local governance and how an economic crisis has evolved into a public finance crisis in the city. Until now the limits of entrepreneurial governance have been understood only with regard to negative social impacts. This paper reveals the limits of a developmental approach.
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