Skip to main content
main-content

Tipp

Weitere Artikel dieser Ausgabe durch Wischen aufrufen

Erschienen in: Journal of Chinese Political Science 3/2020

26.03.2020 | Research Article

Engineering Representation in A Single-Party Regime: A Mobilizational Model of Political Representation in China’s Local Congresses

verfasst von: Zhongyuan Wang

Erschienen in: Journal of Chinese Political Science | Ausgabe 3/2020

Einloggen, um Zugang zu erhalten
share
TEILEN

Abstract

Can authoritarian regimes provide meaningful representation to their citizens? Political representation has been primarily considered and discussed in liberal-democratic settings. However, why do authoritarian rulers care about representation? How can authoritarian rulers engender representation in their relationship with the ruled? China presents an ideal case to examine these questions in light of the party regime’s strong claims to represent its people and the recent reforms in utilizing mobilizational means to generate representation. Drawing on first-hand data collected from thirteen fieldwork sites across eastern, middle and western regions of China, this article outlines a mobilizational model of political representation under non-liberal environments by unpacking the dynamics, process, and logic of congressional representation in China. The findings of this article suggest that the Chinese party regime is strongly motivated to employ mobilizational means to engineer congress representation in the context of declining use of electoral accountability. Although it still meets with shortcomings and challenges, the mass-line mobilizational pattern of representation is instrumentalized by the ruling party for regime-sustaining purposes, therefore creating the potential for a form of representative authoritarianism to emerge in China.
Fußnoten
1
See Suzanne Dovi (2006), “Political Representation,” https://​plato.​stanford.​edu/​entries/​political-representation/​ (accessed June 1, 2017).
 
2
The scene is recalled based on LPC document archives, pictures and a related interview by the author.
 
3
Deputies of Chinese congress at county and township levels are directly elected by voters. But the elections have been systematically controlled by the party regime through various tactics. See Wang [41].
 
4
The Party’s leadership over local congresses mainly takes two forms: first, control key leaders and party groups in congresses; second, lead congressional election and representation by maintaining their correct political direction. In fact, the organization and operation of people’s congress are in many aspects similar to the CCP’s party congress.
 
5
This doesn’t mean there is no variation in congress performance in different places. For discussions on how regional variation in political-economic conditions influences the performance of deputies, see Chen [5].
 
6
This is part of the Party’s core doctrine of the “Three Represents”.
 
7
See the Deputy Law 2010, Article 6.
 
8
See the Deputy Law 2010, Article 45.
 
9
See the Deputy Law 2010, Article 47.
 
10
Representatives who are “delegates” are required and expected to follow the expressed preferences of their constituents.
 
11
Interviews with congress officials in Shanghai, Beijing, Zhejiang, Shaanxi, Chongqing, Guangxi, and Yunnan.
 
12
See http://npc.people.com.cn/n/2014/1022/c14576-25886850.html (accessed December 07, 2015).
 
13
For discussions on China’s representation crisis, see Thornton [37].
 
14
This goes against Kevin O’Brien’s observation in 1990s that the dominant role of deputies was to transmit the “central spirit.” See O’Brien [23].
 
15
Interview with LPC officials at S district, Shanghai; interview with LPC officials in H City, Zhejiang; interview with a party official at H district, Beijing.
 
16
Relevant official documents were found at fieldwork sites in Shanghai, Zhejiang, Anhui, Guizhou, Chongqing, Yunnan, and Guangxi.
 
17
Interviews with LPC officials at B district and P district, Shanghai; Interview with two LPC officials at N county, Anhui; interview with a congress vice-director, at B county, Guangxi.
 
18
Unpublished congress reports at X district, Beijing. Similar statements were made by congress officials in my fieldwork interviews.
 
19
Calculated by the author based on unpublished internal documents from the S district congress, H city. Relevant archives that document deputies’ voter reception services are found in all my fieldwork counties.
 
20
In a very remote township in Guangxi (a least-likely case), we also found similar efforts.
 
21
Interview with two LPC officials at B district and three LPC officials at S district, Shanghai; interview with two LPC deputies at N county, Anhui; interview with a deputy director at S district, H city, Zhejiang; interviews with two township deputies, B county, Shaanxi; interviews with two LPC chairpersons at N county, Yunnan.
 
22
Interview with a LPC director at P district, Shanghai; interview with two LPC officials H City, Zhejiang; interview with two LPC chairpersons at N county, Yunnan.
 
23
Congress archives of deputies’ representation activities, X sub-district, H city, Zhejiang.
 
24
Congress archives of deputies’ representation activities, N sub-district, Shanghai.
 
25
Similar practices are observed in Shanghai, Zhejiang, Chongqing, Shaanxi, Guangxi and Yunnan.
 
26
See the Deputy Law 2015, Articles 22, 23, 24.
 
27
Interviews with LPC officials in Shanghai, Zhejiang, Anhui, Shaanxi, Guangxi, and Yunnan.
 
28
See Article 42 of the Deputy Law 2010.
 
29
Related cases are recorded in congress archives in Shanghai, Zhejiang, Anhui, and Guangxi.
 
30
See Article 36 of the Deputy Law 2010.
 
31
This is backed by Article 38 of the Deputy Law 2015.
 
32
This is backed by Article 22 of the Deputy Law 2015. Seen also in congress archives in Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Guangxi.
 
33
It is noteworthy that we also found several cases that some deputies have low motives to be re-elected or deputies were rejected at the nomination stage for other reasons even when they had served their representation roles very well.
 
34
Interview with a senior party official in Shanghai. Similar statements were made by congress officials in my fieldwork interviews in other provinces.
 
35
Related evaluation regulations and reports were found in these cases, albeit in varying details.
 
36
Interview with LPC officials at S district, Shanghai; interview with LPC officials in H City, Zhejiang; interviews with LPC officials at S district, Chongqing; interview with a congress vice-director, at B county, Guangxi.
 
37
See Article 45 of the 2010 Deputy Law. Related initiatives were observed in most of my fieldwork cases.
 
38
Group interview with five deputies at S district, Shanghai; interview with two deputies at N county, Anhui; interview with a deputy at S district, H city, Zhejiang; interviews with two deputies at F county, Yunnan.
 
39
The Deputy Law provides that funds for deputies’ activities shall be guaranteed in government budgets (Article 35). Taking X sub-district in Zhejiang for example, the congress branch received an annual budget of 298,800 RMB (45,985 USD) in 2013. 228,800 RMB (76.6%) of this was used for deputies’ daily representation activities.
 
40
The “mass line” concept was originally created by Mao Zedong in the 1920s and inherited by then generations of Chinese communist leaders as a cornerstone of the CCP’s ruling mode. The mass line is promoted by the party “on the one hand as a theory for shaping and implementing policy and on the other as a theory of the interactions between political leaders (of the CCP) and the masses” [13]. The governing mode of the “mass line” has been rejuvenated under the leadership of Xi Jinping.
 
41
Deputies’ services on behalf of parochial interests are allowed if they do not conflict with the party’s monopoly over the representation of the people [18].
 
42
Related congress training material was found in Shanghai, Beijing, Zhejiang, Shaanxi, Hubei, Guangxi, and Yunnan.
 
43
This has been highlighted as “people-centered philosophy” since the 19th National Congress of the CCP.
 
Literatur
1.
Zurück zum Zitat Alonso, Sonia, John Keane, and Wolfgang Merkel. 2011. The future of representative democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef Alonso, Sonia, John Keane, and Wolfgang Merkel. 2011. The future of representative democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef
2.
Zurück zum Zitat Andeweg, Rudy, and Jacques Thomassen. 2005. Modes of political representation: Toward a new typology. Legislative Studies Quarterly 30 (4): 507–528. CrossRef Andeweg, Rudy, and Jacques Thomassen. 2005. Modes of political representation: Toward a new typology. Legislative Studies Quarterly 30 (4): 507–528. CrossRef
3.
Zurück zum Zitat Blaydes, Lisa. 2010. Elections and distributive politics in Mubarak’s Egypt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef Blaydes, Lisa. 2010. Elections and distributive politics in Mubarak’s Egypt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef
4.
Zurück zum Zitat Castiglione, Dario, and Johannes Pollak. 2019. Creating political presence: The new politics of democratic representation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. CrossRef Castiglione, Dario, and Johannes Pollak. 2019. Creating political presence: The new politics of democratic representation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. CrossRef
5.
Zurück zum Zitat Chen, Chuanmin. 2019. Local economic development and the performance of municipal People’s congress deputies in China: An explanation for regional variation. Journal of Chinese Political Science 2: 1–16. Chen, Chuanmin. 2019. Local economic development and the performance of municipal People’s congress deputies in China: An explanation for regional variation. Journal of Chinese Political Science 2: 1–16.
6.
Zurück zum Zitat Cho, Young Nam. 2010. Local People’s congresses in China: Development and transition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cho, Young Nam. 2010. Local People’s congresses in China: Development and transition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
7.
Zurück zum Zitat Dahl, Robert A. 1989. Democracy and its critics. New Haven: Yale University. Dahl, Robert A. 1989. Democracy and its critics. New Haven: Yale University.
8.
Zurück zum Zitat Eulau, Heinz, and Paul D. Karp. 1977. The puzzle of representation: Specifying components of responsiveness. Legislative Studies Quarterly 2 (3): 233–254. CrossRef Eulau, Heinz, and Paul D. Karp. 1977. The puzzle of representation: Specifying components of responsiveness. Legislative Studies Quarterly 2 (3): 233–254. CrossRef
9.
Zurück zum Zitat Fewsmith, Joseph, and Andrew J. Nathan. 2019. Authoritarian resilience revisited: Joseph Fewsmith with response from Andrew J. Nathan. Journal of Contemporary China 28 (116): 167–179. CrossRef Fewsmith, Joseph, and Andrew J. Nathan. 2019. Authoritarian resilience revisited: Joseph Fewsmith with response from Andrew J. Nathan. Journal of Contemporary China 28 (116): 167–179. CrossRef
10.
Zurück zum Zitat Frakt, Phyllis M. 1979. Mao’s concept of representation. American Journal of Political Science 23 (4): 684–704. CrossRef Frakt, Phyllis M. 1979. Mao’s concept of representation. American Journal of Political Science 23 (4): 684–704. CrossRef
11.
Zurück zum Zitat Gandhi, Jennifer. 2010. Political institutions under dictatorship. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gandhi, Jennifer. 2010. Political institutions under dictatorship. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
12.
Zurück zum Zitat Gerring, John. 2006. Case study research: Principles and practices. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef Gerring, John. 2006. Case study research: Principles and practices. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef
13.
Zurück zum Zitat Heberer, Thomas. 2016. “Reflections on the concept of representation and its application to China.” Working Papers on East Asian Studies, No. 110/2016. Heberer, Thomas. 2016. “Reflections on the concept of representation and its application to China.” Working Papers on East Asian Studies, No. 110/2016.
14.
Zurück zum Zitat Heberer, Thomas. 2019. Representation in a context across political orders and the Chinese case. Journal of Chinese Governance 4 (4): 339–361. Heberer, Thomas. 2019. Representation in a context across political orders and the Chinese case. Journal of Chinese Governance 4 (4): 339–361.
15.
Zurück zum Zitat Malesky, Edmund, and Paul Schuler. 2010. Nodding or needling: Analyzing delegate responsiveness in an authoritarian parliament. American Political Science Review 104 (3): 482–502. CrossRef Malesky, Edmund, and Paul Schuler. 2010. Nodding or needling: Analyzing delegate responsiveness in an authoritarian parliament. American Political Science Review 104 (3): 482–502. CrossRef
16.
Zurück zum Zitat Manin, Bernard. 1997. The principles of representative government. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef Manin, Bernard. 1997. The principles of representative government. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef
17.
Zurück zum Zitat Manion, Melanie. 2014. “‘Good types’ in authoritarian elections: the selectoral connection in Chinese local congresses.” Comparative Political Studies, 1–33. Manion, Melanie. 2014. “‘Good types’ in authoritarian elections: the selectoral connection in Chinese local congresses.” Comparative Political Studies, 1–33.
18.
Zurück zum Zitat Manion, Melanie. 2015. Information for autocrats: Representation in Chinese local congresses. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef Manion, Melanie. 2015. Information for autocrats: Representation in Chinese local congresses. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef
19.
Zurück zum Zitat Mansbridge, Jane. 2003. Rethinking representation. American Political Science Review 97: 515–528. CrossRef Mansbridge, Jane. 2003. Rethinking representation. American Political Science Review 97: 515–528. CrossRef
20.
Zurück zum Zitat Mansbridge, Jane. 2009. A ‘selection model’ of political representation. Journal of Political Philosophy 17 (4): 369–398. CrossRef Mansbridge, Jane. 2009. A ‘selection model’ of political representation. Journal of Political Philosophy 17 (4): 369–398. CrossRef
21.
Zurück zum Zitat Nathan, Andrew J. 2003. Authoritarian resilience. Journal of Democracy 14 (1): 6–17. CrossRef Nathan, Andrew J. 2003. Authoritarian resilience. Journal of Democracy 14 (1): 6–17. CrossRef
22.
Zurück zum Zitat O’Brien, Kevin J. 1990. Reform without liberalization: China's National People’s congress and the politics of institutional change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef O’Brien, Kevin J. 1990. Reform without liberalization: China's National People’s congress and the politics of institutional change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef
23.
Zurück zum Zitat O’Brien, Kevin J. 1994a. Agents and remonstrators: Role accumulation by Chinese People's congress deputies. China Quarterly 138: 359–380. CrossRef O’Brien, Kevin J. 1994a. Agents and remonstrators: Role accumulation by Chinese People's congress deputies. China Quarterly 138: 359–380. CrossRef
24.
Zurück zum Zitat O’Brien, Kevin J. 1994b. Chinese People's congresses and legislative Embeddedness: Understanding early organizational development. Comparative Political Studies 27 (1): 80–107. CrossRef O’Brien, Kevin J. 1994b. Chinese People's congresses and legislative Embeddedness: Understanding early organizational development. Comparative Political Studies 27 (1): 80–107. CrossRef
25.
Zurück zum Zitat O’Brien, Kevin J. 2009. Local people's congresses and governing China. The China Journal 61: 131–141. CrossRef O’Brien, Kevin J. 2009. Local people's congresses and governing China. The China Journal 61: 131–141. CrossRef
26.
Zurück zum Zitat Pitkin, Hanna. 1967. The concept of representation. Berkeley: University of California. CrossRef Pitkin, Hanna. 1967. The concept of representation. Berkeley: University of California. CrossRef
27.
Zurück zum Zitat Plotke, David. 1997. Representation is democracy. Constellations 4: 19–34. CrossRef Plotke, David. 1997. Representation is democracy. Constellations 4: 19–34. CrossRef
28.
Zurück zum Zitat Przeworksi, Adam, Susan C. Stokes, and Bernard Manin, eds. 1999. Democracy, accountability, and representation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Przeworksi, Adam, Susan C. Stokes, and Bernard Manin, eds. 1999. Democracy, accountability, and representation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
29.
Zurück zum Zitat Rehfeld, Andrew. 2006. Towards a general theory of political representation. The Journal of Politics 68: 1–21. CrossRef Rehfeld, Andrew. 2006. Towards a general theory of political representation. The Journal of Politics 68: 1–21. CrossRef
30.
Zurück zum Zitat Rehfeld, Andrew. 2011. The concepts of representation. American Political Science Review 105 (3): 631–641. CrossRef Rehfeld, Andrew. 2011. The concepts of representation. American Political Science Review 105 (3): 631–641. CrossRef
31.
Zurück zum Zitat Saward, Michael. 2006. The representative claim. Contemporary Political Theory 5 (3): 297–318. CrossRef Saward, Michael. 2006. The representative claim. Contemporary Political Theory 5 (3): 297–318. CrossRef
32.
Zurück zum Zitat Saward, Michael. 2010. The representative claim. Oxford: Oxford University Press. CrossRef Saward, Michael. 2010. The representative claim. Oxford: Oxford University Press. CrossRef
33.
Zurück zum Zitat Schmitter, Philippe C. 2019. Crisis and mutation in the institutions of representation in ‘real-existing’ democracies. Journal of Chinese Governance 4(4): 323–338. Schmitter, Philippe C. 2019. Crisis and mutation in the institutions of representation in ‘real-existing’ democracies. Journal of Chinese Governance 4(4): 323–338.
34.
Zurück zum Zitat Schubert, Gunter, and Björn Alpermann. 2019. Studying the Chinese policy process in the era of ‘top-level design’: The contribution of ‘political steering’ theory. Journal of Chinese Political Science 24: 199–224. CrossRef Schubert, Gunter, and Björn Alpermann. 2019. Studying the Chinese policy process in the era of ‘top-level design’: The contribution of ‘political steering’ theory. Journal of Chinese Political Science 24: 199–224. CrossRef
35.
Zurück zum Zitat Tanner, Murray Scot. 1999. The politics of lawmaking in post-Mao China: Institutions, processes, and democratic prospects. Oxford: Oxford University Press. CrossRef Tanner, Murray Scot. 1999. The politics of lawmaking in post-Mao China: Institutions, processes, and democratic prospects. Oxford: Oxford University Press. CrossRef
36.
Zurück zum Zitat Thomassen, Jacques, ed. 2014. Elections and democracy: Representation and accountability. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Thomassen, Jacques, ed. 2014. Elections and democracy: Representation and accountability. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
37.
Zurück zum Zitat Thornton, Patricia M. 2016. The cultural revolution as the crisis of representation. The China Quarterly 227: 697–717. CrossRef Thornton, Patricia M. 2016. The cultural revolution as the crisis of representation. The China Quarterly 227: 697–717. CrossRef
38.
Zurück zum Zitat Townsend, J.R. 1967. Political participation in communist China. Berkeley: University of California Press. Townsend, J.R. 1967. Political participation in communist China. Berkeley: University of California Press.
39.
Zurück zum Zitat Truex, Rory. 2016. Making autocracy work: Representation and responsiveness in modern China. New York: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef Truex, Rory. 2016. Making autocracy work: Representation and responsiveness in modern China. New York: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef
40.
Zurück zum Zitat Urbinati, Nadia, and Mark Warren. 2008. The concept of representation in contemporary democratic theory. Annual Review of Political Science 11: 387–412. CrossRef Urbinati, Nadia, and Mark Warren. 2008. The concept of representation in contemporary democratic theory. Annual Review of Political Science 11: 387–412. CrossRef
41.
Zurück zum Zitat Wang, Zhongyuan. 2017. Playing by the rules: How local authorities engineer victory in direct congressional elections in China. Journal of Contemporary China 22: 1–16. Wang, Zhongyuan. 2017. Playing by the rules: How local authorities engineer victory in direct congressional elections in China. Journal of Contemporary China 22: 1–16.
42.
Zurück zum Zitat Warren, Mark, and Dario Castiglione. 2004. The transformation of democratic representation. Democracy and Society 2 (1): 5–22. Warren, Mark, and Dario Castiglione. 2004. The transformation of democratic representation. Democracy and Society 2 (1): 5–22.
43.
Zurück zum Zitat Xia, Ming. 2007. The People's congresses and governance in China: Toward a network mode of governance. London: Routledge. CrossRef Xia, Ming. 2007. The People's congresses and governance in China: Toward a network mode of governance. London: Routledge. CrossRef
Metadaten
Titel
Engineering Representation in A Single-Party Regime: A Mobilizational Model of Political Representation in China’s Local Congresses
verfasst von
Zhongyuan Wang
Publikationsdatum
26.03.2020
Verlag
Springer Netherlands
Erschienen in
Journal of Chinese Political Science / Ausgabe 3/2020
Print ISSN: 1080-6954
Elektronische ISSN: 1874-6357
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11366-020-09662-y

Weitere Artikel der Ausgabe 3/2020

Journal of Chinese Political Science 3/2020 Zur Ausgabe

Premium Partner