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Governance in China since 1949

Authors: Prof. Zhang Yanzhe, Prof. Yu Xiao

Northeast Asian Studies College, Jilin University, China

ISBN: 978-1-84464-544-2

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-84464-545-9

Hardback - 166 pages

June 2019


£80 €100 $130



The year of 2019 is the 80th anniversary of the finding if People’s Republic of China. This book outlines the development of governance in China since its foundation. This should attract the interest of a variety of audiences. Although its core readership should be academicians and students of Chinese and Comparative Public Policy, it is also hoped that it inspires the interest of academics studying the history of institutions. Because of the nature of the topic, this research may be of interest to Chinese policy-makers. The role of administrative reform in state transformation has not been rigorously studied in China. Hence, the presentation of a framework for understanding the administrative reform process and its outcomes is an important contribution to the study of Chinese public policy. In addition, the thesis makes a general theoretical and case study contribution to the comparative public policy literature on administrative reform.




1. Learning by Doing: The Case of Administrative Policy Transfer in China

Policy Transfer: the Dolowitz and Marsh framework

Policy transfer in China over time

Policy learning and administrative reform: the ‘Reform and Open Door Policy’

Policy transfer and administrative reform in China

In Conclusion – learning through doing



2. Mao’s Legendary

The Soviet Model and Chinese Development Adapting the Soviet Model to the Chinese Context The Political Context

Mao’s Revolutionary Campaigns and Legacy

In Conclusion



3. Dengism

‘Looking back to look forward’ – the Early Consensus on Reform

Local Initiative and Rural Reform

The Rise of the Special Economic Zones

The Reform of State-Owned Enterprises and Decentralisation

Civil Service Reform



4. Jiang Zemin’s Presidency


Policy Learning and Lesson Drawing

The Globalization VS. Policy Learning and Lesson Drawing

The Cases of Chinese Administrative Reformed

Liberating the Market

In Conclusion


5. Hu and Wen’s Government

A Perspective on State Transformation

From Economic Development to Harmonize Society: Hu’s Challenges

The promotion of a service-oriented government

Rule of law and administrative approval reforms

The Outsourcing in China

Reinventing Government

In Conclusion



6. Xi Jinping’s Thought

The Road and the Sample of the Fragile States—Afghanistan

Historical Afghan Economic Development

Traditional Development Aid Model and Afghanistan

The Belt and Road Initiative

‘BRI’ Replenishes the Traditional Development Aid Model


7. China’s Governance

Reform Activities in China

The logic of institutional reforms

Institutionalizing Civil Service: from Provisional Regulations to Civil Service Law

The Politics of Reform: A System That Formalizes a Historical Pattern

The Measure of Political Reform Success and Failure

The Policy Learning, Governance and Administrative Reform

Fostering Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)

Difficulties China’s Governance

In Conclusion





Prof. 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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