Challenging, complementing or assuming “the Mandate of Heaven”? Political distrust and the rise of self-governing social organizations in rural China

This is a short review of the article, available as an attached pdf file

This article looks employs a nation-wide village-level survey to evaluate the reasons behind a rise in self-governing social organizations in rural China. It concludes that, empirically, explained by growing distrust of township Party and government officials, government performance in public goods provision and organizing village elections. The paper also looks at the political economy behind greater levels of participation in certain villages and concludes that “Higher levels of social capital accumulation in ancestral temples/halls, coupled with lower levels of inter-lineage rivalry, translate into greater availability of human, social and physical capital at the community level, which are particularly essential for the growth of rural grassroots self-governing social organizations” (p. 165).

Pesqué-Cela, V., Tao, R., Liu, Y., & Sun, L. (2009). Challenging, complementing or assuming “the Mandate of Heaven”? Political distrust and the rise of self-governing social organizations in rural China. Journal of Comparative Economics, 37(1), 151-168. Elsevier Inc. doi:10.1016/j.jce.2008.08.004

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