Ballot Box China: Grassroots Democracy in the Final Major One Party State

Overview

Since 1988, China has undergone one of the largest, but least understood experiments in grassroots democracy. Across 650,000 villages in China, with over one million elections, 300,000 officials have been elected. The Chinese government believes that this is a step towards "Democracy with Chinese characteristics." But to many involved in these elections, they have been mired by corruption, vote rigging, and cronyism. This book looks at the history of these elections, how they arose, what they have achieved and ...

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Ballot Box China: Grassroots Democracy in the Final Major One-Party State

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Overview

Since 1988, China has undergone one of the largest, but least understood experiments in grassroots democracy. Across 650,000 villages in China, with over one million elections, 300,000 officials have been elected. The Chinese government believes that this is a step towards "Democracy with Chinese characteristics." But to many involved in these elections, they have been mired by corruption, vote rigging, and cronyism. This book looks at the history of these elections, how they arose, what they have achieved and where they might be going, exploring the specific experience of elections by those who have taken part in them -- the villagers in some of the most deprived areas of China.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A sober, readable and much-needed corrective to the idea, promoted with great enthusiasm and increasing success by the ruling communist party, that western notions of democracy are alien to China's political traditions and culture. But "Ballot Box China" is not starry-eyed either, placing the issue of democracy firmly in the context of China's own internal debate about political reform.” — Richard McGregor, author of 'The Party: The Secret Life of China's Communist Leaders.

 
“This remarkably clear-eyed primer examines the state of democracy in China from the ground up, in all its complexity. From pen-portraits of local activists to insiders’ analysis, Ballet Box China offers one of the best explanations of how the world’s newest superpower is governed.” — Louisa Lim - NPR Beijing correspondent

 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848138209
  • Publisher: Zed Books
  • Publication date: 4/12/2011
  • Series: Asian Arguments Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Kerry Brown is Senior Fellow on the Asia Programme at Chatham House, London, and Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
• A brief history of elections, democracy and civil society in modern China
• Democracy… with Chinese characteristics
• Interjections: When things go wrong: Village elections as a process creating contention
• The village election process
• The great debate - where is Chinese village democracy going?
• The big picture - Elections as part of the dynamics of change in contemporary China
• Last Words

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