Panel Discussion: What Keeps Chinese Officials in Check, If At All?
1080 South University Avenue
In a one-party regime where government officials are not elected to power, what keeps them in check, if at all? What are some alternative mechanisms of accountability besides elections and formal political competition? And how effective are they? This panel brings together three political scientists to discuss the function and limits of non-electoral mechanisms of checks and accountability in contemporary China. These include online activism, a ‘rule of mandates’ alternative to rule of law, and market-based media.
About the speakers
Yuen Yuen Ang is Assistant Professor in Political Science at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on the developmental role of states in developing countries and strategies to build good governance under fiscal constraints. Her talk will compare the outcomes of “i-paid-a-bribe” – an online initiative for citizens to report petty bribe-giving – in India and China.
Mayling Birney is a Lecturer at the London School of Economics (LSE) and a comparative political scientist with a special expertise in China. She is currently finishing a book about China’s distinctive form of authoritarian governing, in which she highlights its consequences for stability, justice, rule of law, and political reform. She will talk about how China’s use of a ‘rule of mandates’ (in place of a rule of law) helps it to achieve a few high priorities yet hinders it in achieving broader accountability and justice.
Daniela Stockmann is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Leiden University. Her research on political communication and public opinion in China has been published in Comparative Political Studies, Political Communication, and The China Quarterly, among others. Her book, Media Commercialization and Authoritarian Rule in China (Cambridge University Press, 2013), argues that market-based media provide regime stability rather than simply a democratizing force for change in one-party states. She will talk about the role of market-based media in fostering “responsive authoritarianism” in China.
This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Chinese Studies and the International Institute.