References (84)



Signal Left, Turn Right: Central Rhetoric and Local Reform in China

Haifeng Huang

University of California, Merced

December 26, 2011

Political Research Quarterly, June 2013

How have local officials in China been able to break through central policy restrictions in a unitary and authoritarian political system? Why is China’s official discourse in the reform era often so conservative and unfavorable to reform? I argue the two issues are components of a signaling game between China’s central government and local officials, in which local officials know that the center may be reformist, but the reformist center imitates the rhetoric of a conservative center in order to control the pace of local liberalization. The result is a gradualist reform of “signaling left and turning right”, with glaring incongruity of speech and actions in the process.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 44

Keywords: post-communist reform, rhetoric, signaling, propaganda, decentralization, local reform

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Date posted: November 20, 2007 ; Last revised: July 5, 2013

Suggested Citation

Huang, Haifeng, Signal Left, Turn Right: Central Rhetoric and Local Reform in China (December 26, 2011). Political Research Quarterly, June 2013. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1031296 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1031296

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Haifeng Huang (Contact Author)
University of California, Merced ( email )
Merced, CA
United States
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