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Civil Service Reform in China: Impacts on Civil Servants' Behaviour*


China's civil service reforms sought to improve the performance of civil servants by introducing more competitive selection processes, incentives to reward performance, and tightened monitoring and supervision. The impact of the reforms was undermined by clashes with other policies being implemented at the time and by a failure to address elements of organization culture that have rewarded various forms of illegal behaviour, such as corruption. Empirical material for our study is drawn from government data and the experience of civil service reform in three Chinese urban areas (Beijing's Haidian district, Changchun and Ningbo) since the 1990s.

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Melanie Manion , Retirement of Revolutionaries in China: Public Policies, Social Norms, Private Interests (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993)

Susan H. Whiting , Power and Wealth in Rural China: the Political Economy of Institutional Change (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)

Murray J. Horn , The Political Economy of Public Administration: Institutional Choice in the Public Sector (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995)

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The China Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0305-7410
  • EISSN: 1468-2648
  • URL: /core/journals/china-quarterly
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