Particularities and Complexities: Unpacking State Policy in Local China

Mi Shih, Carolyn Cartier

Abstract


In this issue, Provincial China features work by UTS China Research Centre scholars and associates. The four articles together problematize another assumption about political economy in China – the idea that state policy is top-down, unidirectional, and omnipresent. Working on different topics and from different disciplinary perspectives, each author analyzes a specific state policy to reveal how, rather than supporting a monolithic state structure, policy dynamics demonstrate regional particularity, temporal variability, and institutional complexity. The spatial conditions of policy dynamics vary regionally as well as in relations of scale, i.e., between national interests and their relations with provincial, urban, and local governments. Since China’s developmental model had depended on a strong state, how should we understand conditions of particularity and complexity in state policy? How should we potentially reconsider understanding the state in light of policy variation? These articles generate insightful outcomes.

Keywords


regional particularity, temporal variability, and institutional complexity

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