Crafting Village Democracy in China: Roles and Strategies of National Political Elites

  • Youxing Lang

Abstract

This study argues that village elections and self-governance in rural China represent a deliberation of the reformers to solve crises in rural areas after the collapse of the People’s Commune system. This chapter aims to examine the roles and functions of national political elites in the process of village elections. In the first section, it tries to trace how the villagers’ self-government emerged, and why national political elites were willing to implement village election and replace the People’s Commune with this democratic vehicle. In the second section, this study attempts to explore how reform-oriented political elites won, through all their difficulties, to allow the Organic Law of villagers’ committee pass; this law is one of the important aspects of the elites’ crafting. In the following two sections, the roles of senior political elites are discussed respectively, particularly Peng Zhen, the officials at the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) and in particular Wang Zhenyao and his elite network. I then show how officials at the MCA have promoted village elections through building a sound macroenvironment, designing laws, rules and regulations, making institutional arrangements, and three cooperative projects, and the the conclusion.

Keywords

Lution Sonal Rene Concession Reformer 

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Notes

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© Weixing Chen and Yang Zhong 2005

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  • Youxing Lang

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