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International Influences on Policymaking in China: Network Authoritarianism from Jiang Zemin to Hu Jintao

  • Jane Duckett (a1)

Previous research has credited China's top leaders, Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, with the social policies of their decade in power, arguing that they promoted these policies either for factional reasons or to achieve rational, problem-solving goals. But such arguments ignore the dominant “fragmented authoritarian” model of policymaking in China that centres on bargaining among bureaucratic agencies. This article asks whether top leadership factions, rational problem solving, or “fragmented authoritarianism” can explain the adoption of one of the Hu and Wen administration's flagship policies, New Rural Cooperative Medical Schemes. Based on a careful tracing of this policy's evolution, it finds little evidence for these explanations, and instead uncovers the role played by international events and organizations, and ideas they introduced or sustained within policy networks. The article highlights some of the effects that China's international engagement has had on policymaking and the need to go beyond explanations of the policy process that focus solely on domestic actors. It proposes a new model of policymaking, “network authoritarianism,” that centres on policy networks spanning the domestic–international, state–non-state, and central–local divides, and which takes account of the influence of ideas circulating within these networks.

以往研究认为,是胡锦涛和温家宝, 作为中国前任高层领导人, 主导实施了他们十年任期里的一系列社会政策。这些研究认为, 高层领导要么出于派系原因, 要么出于理性决策的目的, 才推动了这些政策的实施。而这种观点忽视了那种以官僚机构间讨价还价为主要特征的中国政策制定的主流模式: “碎片化权威主义” 。本文分别以高层政治派系、理性决策、以及“碎片化权威主义”三种政策制定模式来检验和解释胡温任期内所实施的最重要的政策之一: 新型农村合作医疗制度。基于对该制度发展演化的细致梳理, 本文发现支持这三种模式及其解释的证据并不充分。相反, 本文发现国际事件、国际组织, 以及由国际组织引入中国并在中国的政策网络中持续产生影响的价值理念对政策制定具有重要影响。本文凸显了中国参与国际活动对政策制定所产生的某些影响, 并认为解释中国的政策过程不能仅关注国内的行动者。本文进一步提出了“网络权威主义”这样一个新的政策制定模式。网络权威主义模式强调政策网络的重要性: 政策网络不仅涵盖了国内-国际, 政府-非政府, 以及中央-地方的区分, 同时, 传播于政策网络中的价值理念所产生的影响力也得到了充分重视。

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