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Deliberation, demobilization, and limited empowerment: A survey study on participatory pricing in China
journal contributionposted on 2018-12-01, 00:00 authored by Baogang HeBaogang He, Xuan Qin
Authoritarian deliberation has been used widely to describe the specific form of deliberation developed in China. However, whether its practice will strengthen authoritarianism or lead to democratization remains unknown. In this study, we examine this question from the perspective of participants in public deliberation. Surveying the participants in participatory pricings held in Shanghai over the past five years, we find that participants’ perception of deliberative quality has a statistically significant negative impact on their level of political activism, while their level of empowerment has a moderating effect on this negative relationship. In this light, Chinese deliberative practices characterized by high-quality deliberation and low-level empowerment are likely to have a demobilization effect; thus, they reinforce the authoritarian rules.