Infrastructure, Participation and Legal Reforms: An Analysis of the Politics and Potentials of Village Elections in China




Ke, Chong

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Inspired by critiques of controlled elections under “single-party rule,” this dissertation explores the performance, implications and potentials of China’s village elections. It first reviews the most important studies on the progress of China’s grassroots democracy and then analyzes the social-political background of village self-management which to date has been neglected in the academic literature. Based on empirical studies conducted in Sichuan, this dissertation investigates the roles and attitudes of various participatory groups in village elections and in the course of electoral reforms. It also discusses the failure of the existing law to set out fundamental rules for village elections and to effectively guide people’s behavior. Further, this dissertation offers detailed recommendations to improve the existing law in order to guarantee the accessibility, authenticity and competitiveness of village elections.



villagers' committee, China, Sichuan, village election, legal reform, hybrid party-state document, electoral competitivenss, institutionalization, single-party state, single-party politics, politics, election law, electoral system, democracy, electoral reform, controlled election, voting rights, public perception, political participation, participation, citizenship, political awareness, openness and competitiveness