Toward an Incremental Democracy and Governance : Chinese Theories and Assessment Criteria

The article elaborates the development of Chinese democracy and governance in theory and practice since the market-orientation. It compares the similarities and differences between the traditional view of democracy and the reformist one, and between the official and the academic one. The article generalizes the practice and theories of democracy and governance in China as Incremental Democracy. First this means that the previous centralist system has been collapsed and a pluralization of political life is emerging. However, the political pluralization is conditional: China's politics is in transition from the traditional totalism into a conditional democracy. Second, in comparison to economic liberalization, the extent and degree of political liberalization is much lower. In this paper, the author tries to develop a new theory and assessment criteria to explain and evaluate the recent changes in democracy and governance taking place in a context of economic and social reforms


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