Agents and Remonstrators: Role Accumulation by Chinese People's Congress Deputies

China Quarterly, No. 138, pp. 359-80, June 1994

22 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2008

See all articles by Kevin J. O'Brien

Kevin J. O'Brien

University of California, Berkeley - Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science

Abstract

Among Chinese people's congress deputies who are active and who do not exclusively adopt the role of regime agent, many play a role reminiscent of the upright official remonstrating the emperor. Archival materials and interviews with 39 individual - legislative leaders, deputies and staff in Wuhan, Tianjin, Beijing, and Harbin during 1989, 1990 and 1991 - suggest that some deputies bring group or particularistic problems identified through their job or private life to the attention of leaders and request a response. They possess information, rather than a mandate, and the leadership has no obligation to respond if the information is incorrect or the solution is too costly. Deputies who choose this role may combine it with their usual role implementing laws and explaining policies to the citizenry. In so doing, they may recreate and redefine their role perception to alleviate role strain significantly.

Keywords: China, legislature, local people's congress, representation, role theory, role accumulation

JEL Classification: K40, O54, P30

Suggested Citation

O'Brien, Kevin J., Agents and Remonstrators: Role Accumulation by Chinese People's Congress Deputies. China Quarterly, No. 138, pp. 359-80, June 1994, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1122055

Kevin J. O'Brien (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science ( email )

210 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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