Chinese People's Congresses and Legislative Embeddedness: Understanding Early Organizational Development
Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 80-107, April 1994
28 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2008
Evidence from medieval Europe and modern China suggests that cooperation with strong executives plays a larger role in early legislative development than is generally acknowledged: that under conditions of absolutism (or near-absolutism), acceptance and exploitation of subordination may be a means to organizational development. In this article, I rely primarily on interview data and Chinese field research to show that early legislative development can occur without significantly increasing conflict with established authorities and without winning autonomy. I further argue that legislative embeddedness, as measured by clarified and expanded jurisdiction and increased capacity, is a product less of conflict than of executive support and attention, and that support and attention in the early stages of organizational development can be understood in terms of a legislature's presence, its reliability and usefulness, and the political standing of its leaders. The paper's conclusion offers a new approach to early legislative development that shifts attention from conventional measures of institutionalization and hinges on understanding the process of embeddedness.
Keywords: China, local people's congress, embeddedness, legislatures
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation