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China's Governance Openness and Reforms: A Case of Policy Learning in Practice

Authors: Prof. Zhang Yanzhe, Prof. Yu Xiao

ISBN: 978-1-84464-520-6

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-84464-521-3

Hardback-350 Pages

May 2018


£65 €78 $98



This book aims to make a theoretical, empirical and prescriptive contribution to the contemporary study of policy learning. In the first regard, it observes that despite bold claims to the contrary (see Dolowitz and Marsh, 1996; and Evans, ed., 2010), most studies of policy learning are characterised by their mono-cultural understanding of the process of policy-oriented learning reflected in an obsession with the destination of transfer rather than its original policy setting or settings. This betrays an absence of strong comparative investigation of the process of learning. Moreover, existing approaches to the study of policy transfer networks (the process of policy learning) are limited by their narrow epistemological perspectives as in the main they tend to lend undue focus on actors, ideas/interests or structure. Most significantly, the absence of logistic relationships between different schools of policy learning has never been emphasized. Following the work of Marsh and Smith on policy networks (2000), this book contends that these elements cannot be separately analyzed. It therefore advances an interactive model of policy transfer networks that investigates the process of learning through three interactive dimensions: between structure and agents, network and context, and network and outcome.

This brings me to the book’s second main contribution – the presentation of original case study explorations of the role of policy learning in facilitating the rise of the New Authoritarian Developmental State. The book contends that policy learning has become a key policy instrument in the process of transition from a command to a market socialist economy, and latterly to what may be termed a New Authoritarian Developmental State. Indeed, in order to meet the perceived imperatives of state transformation, the ‘Reform and Open Door’ policy has been featured by a broad range of processes of policy learning. It is, however, beyond the scope of this book to present a comprehensive description and explanation of this complex and multi-faceted reform process, rather the aim of this account is to provide an examination of certain processes of policy learning which are broadly indicative of the dynamics of change underpinning the incremental process of reform.

The third and final contribution of this book lies in its identification of the ingredients of rational policy learning which can hopefully help guide future Chinese policy-makers to more progressive policy outcomes.



Abstract Acknowledgements

Chapter One: Drawing the Parameters of Research

1.1. Preamble – policy transfer and the rise of the New China

1.2. What is policy transfer and what role does it play in the Chinese state?

1.3. The Core Theory

1.4. Contribution

1.5. Audience Chapter Two: China’s Development – a History of Pragmatic Policy Learning

2.1. Introduction

2.2. ‘Looking back in order to look forward’ --The Age of Isolation (1600-1850)

2.3. ‘Hollowing-out of the State’ The Westernisation Movement (1860 to 1912)

2.4. ‘Dealing With a Transition’--the Conflict between ‘Westernization’, ‘Russification’ and ‘Localization’ (1912 to 1949)

2.5. ‘Founding of New China’—The Mao Legacy (1949-1979)

2.6. ‘A Way Forward’--the “Reform and Open Door” Policy

2.6.1. The Marketization of the State in the Shadow of Hierarchy (1982 to 2002)

2.6.2. Public Service-oriented Government (2003-2007)

2.6.3. Towards a Harmonious Society (2008 to the 2011)

2.7. Processes of Learning Chapter Three: Debating Policy Transfer

3.1. Introduction

3.2. Investigating Processes of Policy Learning

3.3. What is Policy Transfer?

3.4. Conceptual Origins

3.5. Approaches

3.6. Schools

3.7. The Policy Transfer Model

3.8. Policy Transfer Networks

3.9. A Critical Review: Policy Transfer analysis VS, Relativity and Rationality

3.10. The Limits of Policy Transfer Analysis

3.11. The Way Forward

3.12. In Conclusion – Understanding Policy Transfer

Chapter Four: Human Resources Development in China – the Case of the China Europe Public Administration Programme (CEPA)

4.1. Introduction

4.2. The China National School of Administration and Public Sector Reform

4.3. The Emergence and Development of the China-Europe Public Administration Programme

4.4. Policy-oriented Learning through a Policy Hub – the Case of the China-Europe Public Administration Programme

4.5. Validating Policy Transfer

4.6. In Conclusion

Chapter Five: Policy Transfer, Pensions and Long-term Care Policy in China

5.1. Introduction

5.2. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security

5.3. The Origins of the Present Crisis

5.4. The Process of Policy-oriented Learning

5.5. Understanding China’s ELCP as an Imperfect Process of Policy-Oriented Learning

5.6. In Conclusion – Muddling on, not yet through

Chapter Six: Policy Transfer and Banking Sector Reform – the Case of Strategic Management

6.1. Introduction

6.2. Banking Sector Reform and Policy Learning

6.3. The ‘Reform and Open Door Policy’ and Banking Sector Reform

6.4. WTO Membership and Banking Sector Reform

6.5. The Rise of Strategic Management in China’s Banking Sector

6.6. Implementation Perspective

6.7. Applying the Policy Transfer Network Model

6.8. In Conclusion

Chapter Seven: Policy Transfer and Property Management in China

7.1. Introduction

7.2. The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development

7.3. The Emergence and Development of China’s Property Management Programme

7.4. China’s Property Management as a Product of Policy Oriented Learning

7.5. Programme Implementation

7.6. Policy Outcomes

7.7. Applying the Policy Transfer Network Approach

7.8. In Conclusion

Chapter Eight: Economic Harmonisation and the World Trade Organisation – the Case of China’s Growth Enterprises Market

8.1. Introduction

8.2. The Origins of China’s Capital Market

8.3. The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC)

8.4. The Emergence of the Growth Enterprise Market Board

8.5. Establishing the GEM – an Implementation Perspective

8.6. Understanding China’s Growth Enterprises Market as a Process of Policy-Oriented Learning

8.7. In Conclusion

Chapter Nine: Comparing Policy Transfers

9.1. Introduction

9.2. Comparing Processes of Learning

9.3. Measuring Success

9.4. Identifying the Components of a National Learning Culture

9.5. In Conclusion –Avoiding the ‘Learning Paradox’

Chapter Ten: In Conclusion – Why Ideas and Bounded Rationality Matter in Policy Transfer

10.1. Introduction

10.2. Research Findings

10.3. Theoretical Implications

10.4. Strengths and Weaknesses of the Research Design

10.5. Lessons for Practice

10.6. Avenues for Future Research

10. 7. End Games Bibliography Internet References Primary Case Study Resources


About Authors:

Yanzhe Zhang is an Associate Professor of Northeast Asia Study College at Jilin University, China. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at Australia-New Zealand School of Government, Institute for Governance. Thus, he works as a Senior Research Fellow at Institute of Governance and Policy Analysis at University of Canberra (Australia). Yanzhe is also the coordinator of Australia- China Public Administration and Governance Program. Yanzhe is the designer of senior executive training program for Australian National Audit Office and China National Audit Office. He is an expert on public sector governance with a particular emphasis on citizen-centric governance. Yanzhe’s research has centered on: a) evaluating the role, real and potential, of policy transfer in institution-building in developed and developing areas; b) studying the nature and impact of administrative reform in developed and transition states; c) evaluating state policy responses to processes of globalization; and, d) evaluating critical issues in Australian and Chinese governance. The research theme that binds all of these areas together is his interest in public sector institution-building and processes of governance.

Prof. Xiao YU is the Dean of Northeast Asia Study College at Jilin University, China. Xiao is an expert on regional studies of Northeastern China. His research orientations have centered on: a) demographic studies; b) employment studies; c) resource studies; and d) environmental studies in China. All of the research themes are together in his interest in regional studies of Northeast Asia.

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