双重约束视角下的基层治理结构与效能: 经验与反思

Translated title of the contribution: Local Governance Structure and Efficiency in the Dual Restriction Structure Perspective: experience and reflection

Linke Hou, Mingxing Liu, Yu Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

本文立足有代表性的全国抽样数据,系统考察和对比了不同类型基层治理主体化解基层社会矛盾的效能。数据显示,这一时期中国农村存在基层纠纷发生的“非平衡性”、分布的“异质性”以及处理手段的“非一致性”等典型特征。通过对这些典型特征背后的结构性因素进行深入分析,本文发现:那些植根基层社会文化网络、具有丰富地方性知识的自源性基层治理主体,更有可能平衡与约束外源性基层治理主体的政策执行方式,从而能够显著降低冲突发生的风险,提升治理效能。在此基础上,本文还比较了两类自源性基层治理主体在上述过程中发挥的作用,指出就化解基层纠纷的治理效能而言,通过交叠权威发挥的社会性约束机制,往往要比通过本地干部发挥的制度性约束机制更具可持续性。

Why do some villages in rural China experience significantly fewer episodes of social contention than others amid the implementation of the same central-led policy initiatives in the early 2000s? Why do some local authorities in rural China appear to be more effective in preventing or mitigating the negative impacts of those actions that their constituents perceived as unpopular? And, ultimately, which structures of local authorities tend to be more desirable in facilitating good governance? This paper answers these questions through our systematic empirical analyses into a unique national representative set of data, which covers how the local authorities in 57 townships throughout six Chinese provinces took on 612 episodes of social contention between 2000 and 2008. During this period, the central government of China launched a series of significant policy initiatives to reform the fiscal and taxation institutions in rural China fundamentally. However, as revealed by the empirical findings of our statistical analysis, the actual impacts that these central-led policy initiatives have on local governance in rural China appeared to vary significantly among different villages. In particular, we observed three distinct patterns regarding the correlations between the structural factors of local authorities and the quality of local governance. Firstly, in comparison with local authorities led by officials from the outside, those led by cadres who were locally promoted generally experienced fewer episodes of social contention during the period covered by our data. Secondly, among the local authorities led by officials from the outside, those that have a local cadre as the deputy leader tend to experienced significantly fewer episodes of social contention during the period covered by our data. Finally, local authorities led by officials from the outside also tend to experience significantly fewer episodes of social contention during the period covered by our data when they worked closely with retired local cadres and social groups which include cadres as their members but remain autonomous in making decisions. According to these observations, local authorities tend to be more effective and efficient in preventing and mitigating social contention when autochthonous actors play substantial roles in local governance, either directly or through their influences to the allochthones leader. In comparison with those allochthones officials who were parachuted to take control of local authorities, autochthonous actors in the local political arena often have stronger links with local communities, better understandings of the local knowledge, and richer social and political capital on the grassroots level. As a result, when autochthonous actors in the local political arena are empowered, they are often in a good position to check and balance the unpopular policy decisions from those allochthones officials. Based on these findings, we further compared how the two types of autochthonous actors mentioned above impact the quality of local governance. According to our empirical findings, although those autochthonous cadres who work as deputy leaders of local authorities can effectively prevent their allochthones line managers from taking opportunist actions which may provoke social contention, they often lack the motivation and capacity to proactively take on the popular grievance against the problems caused by the policies or actions of their predecessors. In other words, these cadres are more effective in preventing new episodes of social contention from developing, but they are not necessarily also effective in resolving the existing social contention in local communities. Retired local cadres and autonomous local social groups, on the other hand, appear to be effective in working with allochthones officials to resolve existing as well as new social contention, because their influence and social authority are not restricted by the formal institutions that set tenure for incumbent officials. In other words, in comparison with the autochthonous incumbent officials, retired local cadres and autonomous local social groups tend to play more sustainable roles of checking and balancing the opportunist policies or actions.
Original languageChinese
Pages (from-to)145-160
Number of pages16
Journal管理世界 (Management World)
Volume2020
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2020

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