Current Publications

Regulations against revolution

Xuelian Chen, Christian Göbel

Since 2004, the central government has incentivized local officials to solve regional problems proactively and to prevent their emergence. The present contribution investigates the impact of these incentives. It analyzes the geographic distribution of policy innovations in China, the types of measures local government officials devise to solve or to prevent local problems, and the factors to render likely the successful implementation of certain measures at specific locations. Based on the literature on policy implementation in China's local states, we formulate hypotheses and test them by means of geographically visualized data and multivariate linear regressions. Our data source is composed of roughly 1030 descriptions of policy innovations implemented by local governments. These documents have been submitted to compete for a renowned prize rewarding local policy innovation, and the existence of the measures described therein have been verified by the organizers of the competition. Overall, the results of our investigation suggest that the central government's alteration of local incentive structures exert a broad effect, thus providing the prerequisites for the comprehensive influence of local innovations on the entire system. Whether they actually increase the legitimacy of the regime must, however, be determined in a follow-up study.

Department of East Asian Studies
External organisation(s)
China Center for Global Governance and Development
Journal of Chinese Governance
No. of pages
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
506014 Comparative politics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Political Science and International Relations, Sociology and Political Science, Public Administration
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