Tang, Beibei (2014). The Discursive Turn: deliberative governance in China’s urbanized villages. Journal of Contemporary China, Prepublished June, 24, 2014. DOI:10.1080/10670564.2014.918414
This article examines local governance and citizen participation in China through unstructured public deliberation. Case studies from two urbanized villages show that unstructured, informal public deliberation potentially leads to more autonomy and diverse channels for pursuing citizens’ appeals at the local level, along with increased consideration given by local government to grassroots requests relating to practical governance matters. Although taking place outside formal political institutions, unstructured public deliberation can exert influences on policy or decision-making inside government organizations through well-coordinated transmission mechanisms between the public and the local government. During this process, well-resourced community organizations and actors play a vital role through their bridging functions to produce dynamic relations of deliberative governance. This bridging role serves to deliver deliberative outcomes from the public sphere to the decision-making authorities, and it also includes the collection of feedback on policy as well as the means to negotiate for policy adjustment by facilitating a policy implementation process.
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