Social Indicators Research

, Volume 139, Issue 2, pp 453–471 | Cite as

Political Efficacy, Social Network and Involvement in Public Deliberation in Rural China

  • Zhijun Pei
  • Yingchun PanEmail author
  • Martin Skitmore


This study examines the role of political efficacy and social networks in rural China to understand the social characteristics that might affect an individual’s disposition to join in public deliberations. A model is developed and empirically tested by Partial Least Squares analysis. This shows active involvement in public deliberation to be positively influenced by political efficacy (with external political efficacy being a partial mediator), high internal or external political efficacy, and a high internal efficacy leading to high external political efficacy. Social networks have a moderating effect, individuals with a high social network status having an enhanced positive internal political efficacy-public deliberation involvement but weakened positive external political efficacy-public deliberation involvement. The research advances the theoretical understanding of complex political psycho-behavior relationships and provided insights into the role of social settings. The findings could also help boost deliberative democracy in such limited democratic societies as China.


Political efficacy Public deliberation Social networks Rural China 



Funding was provided by The National Social Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 16BSH080).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public AdministrationZhejiang University of Finance and EconomicsHangzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Urban DevelopmentQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

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