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postgraduate thesis: Administrative policymaking procedure reform in China : a failure of success?

TitleAdministrative policymaking procedure reform in China : a failure of success?
Authors
Issue Date2017
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Huang, Y. [黃岳]. (2017). Administrative policymaking procedure reform in China : a failure of success?. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
Abstract In modern democratic societies after 1940s, administrative agencies on the one hand have gained significant independence from the legislative branch in making policies, on the other, are still required to be held accountable to democratic political order and value. The mostly advocated ways by western scholars to realize democratic value in administrative policymaking include public participation, impact assessment and monitoring, all of which have been integral parts of modern administrative procedure of policymaking in the West. But how about the situation in authoritarian states? Would they be able to strive for higher accountability of administrative policymaking, while still reject democratic values and institutions? The current studies provided very little hint to respond to above inquires. The difficulties to explore this situation are not only due to the scarcity of the good example in practice, but also the lack of attention and interest to the administrative law theory in the states beyond the model of “western democracy”. But there has been reforms in one country enabling scholars to observe both the theories and practices of administrative policymaking in an non-western, authoritarian regime. It is the administrative policymaking reform in China. China has been demanding policymaking accountability since the late 1990s. By continuously reforming its policymaking procedure and establishing various “Americanized” mechanisms, China adopted procedures that were quite similar to the western democracies in administrative policymaking, such as participation, evaluation and transparency. Observing China helps one to better appreciate the contents, effectiveness and limits of policymaking accountability in an authoritarian state. Based on the findings from close observations since 2000s, this thesis characterizes China’s reform as an initiative to “democratize” China’s executive administrative decision-making in order to increase the social acceptance to the public policy. While this reform committed to making the administrative policymaking more inclusive, responsive and transparent, it did not change the institutional environment under which the administrative polices were made. Even though many new procedures impose heavy procedural duties to the agencies--some of them are even more rigorous than western models, the overall reform is dragged by the high monitoring cost caused by institutional fragmentation and the lack of authoritative way to resolve the confliction between incompatible accountability norms. This thesis argues, based on a review of situations and problems in reform, the inter-branch checks-and-balances reflecting democratic principle is an undeniable, probably the sole, choice to effectuate the Chinese administrative policymaking procedural reform and to make Chinese administrative policymaking truly accountable. It also argues that, even though the fully accountable administrative policymaking may still undeniable until China have realized the checks-and-balances politics, some temporary measures may raise the administrative agency’s accountability in making polices within a limited extent. It concludes that a reformative agenda towards “administrative constitutionalism”—a political transition with a purpose of putting executive agencies under the control of constitutional order—will give the hope to fuel the current stagnant reform in China.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectChina - Administrative law
Political planning - China
Dept/ProgramLaw
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/244293

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorHuang, Yue-
dc.contributor.author黃岳-
dc.date.accessioned2017-09-08T08:33:31Z-
dc.date.available2017-09-08T08:33:31Z-
dc.date.issued2017-
dc.identifier.citationHuang, Y. [黃岳]. (2017). Administrative policymaking procedure reform in China : a failure of success?. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/244293-
dc.description.abstract In modern democratic societies after 1940s, administrative agencies on the one hand have gained significant independence from the legislative branch in making policies, on the other, are still required to be held accountable to democratic political order and value. The mostly advocated ways by western scholars to realize democratic value in administrative policymaking include public participation, impact assessment and monitoring, all of which have been integral parts of modern administrative procedure of policymaking in the West. But how about the situation in authoritarian states? Would they be able to strive for higher accountability of administrative policymaking, while still reject democratic values and institutions? The current studies provided very little hint to respond to above inquires. The difficulties to explore this situation are not only due to the scarcity of the good example in practice, but also the lack of attention and interest to the administrative law theory in the states beyond the model of “western democracy”. But there has been reforms in one country enabling scholars to observe both the theories and practices of administrative policymaking in an non-western, authoritarian regime. It is the administrative policymaking reform in China. China has been demanding policymaking accountability since the late 1990s. By continuously reforming its policymaking procedure and establishing various “Americanized” mechanisms, China adopted procedures that were quite similar to the western democracies in administrative policymaking, such as participation, evaluation and transparency. Observing China helps one to better appreciate the contents, effectiveness and limits of policymaking accountability in an authoritarian state. Based on the findings from close observations since 2000s, this thesis characterizes China’s reform as an initiative to “democratize” China’s executive administrative decision-making in order to increase the social acceptance to the public policy. While this reform committed to making the administrative policymaking more inclusive, responsive and transparent, it did not change the institutional environment under which the administrative polices were made. Even though many new procedures impose heavy procedural duties to the agencies--some of them are even more rigorous than western models, the overall reform is dragged by the high monitoring cost caused by institutional fragmentation and the lack of authoritative way to resolve the confliction between incompatible accountability norms. This thesis argues, based on a review of situations and problems in reform, the inter-branch checks-and-balances reflecting democratic principle is an undeniable, probably the sole, choice to effectuate the Chinese administrative policymaking procedural reform and to make Chinese administrative policymaking truly accountable. It also argues that, even though the fully accountable administrative policymaking may still undeniable until China have realized the checks-and-balances politics, some temporary measures may raise the administrative agency’s accountability in making polices within a limited extent. It concludes that a reformative agenda towards “administrative constitutionalism”—a political transition with a purpose of putting executive agencies under the control of constitutional order—will give the hope to fuel the current stagnant reform in China. -
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshChina - Administrative law-
dc.subject.lcshPolitical planning - China-
dc.titleAdministrative policymaking procedure reform in China : a failure of success?-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineLaw-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.date.hkucongregation2017-
dc.identifier.mmsid991043953697203414-

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