Popular Support for Grassroots Self-Government in Urban China: Findings from a Beijing Survey

Modern China, Vol. 33, No. 4 (October 2007), pp. 505-528

25 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2013

See all articles by Jie Chen

Jie Chen

University of Idaho

Chunlong Lu

Old Dominion University

Yiyin Yang

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) - Institute of Sociology

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

Since the post-Mao reforms began, the Chinese central government has made efforts to revitalize the grassroots self-government system in urban areas in order to cope with the resulting sociopolitical changes. In 2000 the govern ment stepped up its efforts by changing the old Residential Committee (jumin weiyuanhui, or RC) to the new Community Residents' Committee (shequ jumin weiyuanhui, or CRC) and by giving the latter more autonomy. Survey data that the authors collected in the urban areas of Beijing in 2004 indicate that most of their respondents supported the new CRCs and the current self government system as a whole. Moreover, the authors found that urban residents' subjective orientations?such as their assessment of existing CRCs' perfor mance, belief in democratic principles, sense of political efficacy, and life satisfaction?significantly influenced their support for the system; the type of housing complex was a sociopolitical contextual factor that also helped shape their support. These findings have important political implications for the future viability of the urban self-government system.

Keywords: Chinese politics, urban grassroots self-government, mass political support, public opinion

Suggested Citation

Chen, Jie and Lu, Chunlong and Yang, Yiyin, Popular Support for Grassroots Self-Government in Urban China: Findings from a Beijing Survey (2007). Modern China, Vol. 33, No. 4 (October 2007), pp. 505-528, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2230924

Jie Chen (Contact Author)

University of Idaho ( email )

College of Graduate Studies
Morrill Hall 104
Moscow, ID 83844-3017
United States
(208) 885-2167 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uidaho.edu/class/politicalscience/jie-chen

Chunlong Lu

Old Dominion University ( email )

Norfolk, VA 23529-0222
United States

Yiyin Yang

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) - Institute of Sociology

China

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