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“Fragmented Authoritarianism 2.0”: Political Pluralization in the Chinese Policy Process*

Abstract
Abstract

Traditional analyses of political liberalization in China focus on elections or other facets of democratization. But they cannot account for the fact that although China remains authoritarian, it is nevertheless responsive to the increasingly diverse demands of Chinese society. I argue that the rules of the policy-making process are still captured by the fragmented authoritarianism framework, but that the process has become increasingly pluralized: barriers to entry have been lowered, at least for certain actors (hitherto peripheral officials, non-governmental organizations and the media) identified here as “policy entrepreneurs.” With policy change as the variable of interest, I compare three cases of hydropower policy outcomes. I argue that policy entrepreneurs' ability to frame the issue effectively explains variation in hydropower policy outcomes. I then extend these findings to an unlikely policy area, international trade, specifically, the 2001–06 Sino-EU trade talks over child-resistant lighter safety regulations.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Sidney Tarrow , Power in Movement: Social Movements and Contentious Politics (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998)

Kevin J. O'Brien and Lianjiang Li , Rightful Resistance in Rural China (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006), p. 2

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