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|Other Titles:||Institutional Changes in China’s Village Election Committees: The Viewpoint of Historical Institutionalism|
village election committee;village committee organizational law;election procedures of village committees;historical institutionalism
|Issue Date:||2016-07-20 16:26:41 (UTC+8)|
In order to resolve social crises and strengthen political legitimacy, China’s authoritarian regime tends to adapt to the changing environment by means of institutionalization. Since 1998, regulations on how to organize village election committees have been instituted and revised. This paper applies historical institutionalism to observe the changing institutional forces and changing modes regarding village election committees. The norms of the village election committee, from village committee organizational law to election procedures,are viewed as the target for analysis. Ignored by China’s central government and academic researchers, the institution of the village election committee was not established until 1998. In the preceding period marked by an institutional vacuum, villagers and academic researchers gradually became dissatisfied by the lack of a village election committee and election outcomes controlled by the grassroots organization of the Communist Party. China’s central government responded to these criticisms by adopting the procedures of recommendation and election through a village election committee. In 2001, the Hainan provincial government converted its election procedure into a direct voting election, but the outcome of direct elections was detrimental to the enforcement of the “One Combination” principle. In 2010, China’s central government starting to revise the original law in the hopes of reducing corruption problems. From the standpoint of the institutional change mode, the development of regulations for the village election committee mostly reflects the phenomena of path dependency. This implies that not only China’s central government but provincial governments as well do not want to change the original institution drastically. Taking “political stability over everything” and the outcome of direct elections in Hainan into consideration, the paper argues that more democratic direct elections are unlikely to become the goal of institutional development in the future. However, because of the lack of direct elections, it is difficult to select competent cadres, further reinforcing the possibility of corruption among their ranks. The corruption stemming from the imbalance between institutions will become the endogenous driving force of future institutional change.
|Relation:||東亞研究, 45(2), 35-68|
East Asia Studies
|Appears in Collections:||[東亞研究] 期刊論文|
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