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How democratic are Chinese grassroots deliberations? an empirical study of 393 deliberation experiments in China

journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2018, 00:00 authored by Baogang HeBaogang He, Dezhi Tong
Chinese public hearings or consultations have been subject to numerous debates, doubts, and scepticism about the existence of Chinese deliberative democracy. More empirical evidence, however, is required
about these debates before we can offer any meaningful account of the nature, characteristics, and direction of Chinese deliberation. In addition, although there have been many case studies on grassroots deliberative
democracy, such studies are intellectually isolated from each other in the sense that they do not comprise a statistical unit. To overcome this deficiency, we developed a new research method for studying
grassroots deliberation by collecting and validating the existing case studies, thereby making them a statistical unit. This paper aims to offer a big-picture perspective and the national statistical trend behind the
uneven development of grassroots deliberative democracy. It develops an intellectual framework to assess whether grassroots deliberation is democratic. By collecting, validating, and coding 393 cases of Chinese
grassroots deliberations, we have assessed Chinese grassroots deliberation, confirmed the cases’ democratic attributes, and provided a solid statistical result. Although there is strong evidence to support the claim that these grassroots deliberation experiments are democratic, there remain some variations, nuances, and shortcomings. The full picture is not simple, but instead provides a mixed perspective.

History

Journal

Japanese Journal of Political Science

Volume

19

Issue

4

Season

Winter

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Location

Cambridge, Eng.

ISSN

1468-1099

Language

eng

Notes

DOI Not activiated

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, Cambridge University Press