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China’s “New Normal”: from Social Control to Social Governance

Abstract

The Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee set the “modernization of the state governance system and governing capacity” as the overall objective of “comprehensive deepening reform,” which has become an important political aspect of the “New Normal” in Xi Jinping’s era. Since then, the research on the theory and practice of the state governance model, state governance capacity, and social governance has become popular. By defining the concept of governance and investigating social governance model in China, this article analyses the institutional foundation restricting the transition of the social governance model in China, expounds the connotation and development goal of social governance alongside the state governance system modernization, and argues that the new development trend of “social governance” is to make the transition to the self-governing model based on democracy and rule of law, and pluralistic cooperation between state and society. The main function of the government is not to exercise administrative intervention and control over the society, nor to replace societal actions or to take on everything by itself, rather it is to steer, standardize, support, and serve the social self-governance by exercising laws, rules, and regulations, democratic consultation, and social policies. This article suggests that further deepening political restructuring and achieving the transformation of government functions is the necessary condition to foster and promote social governance capacity and to achieve the transformation of the governance model.

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Correspondence to Tianyu Jiang.

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Guo, S., Jiang, T. China’s “New Normal”: from Social Control to Social Governance. J OF CHIN POLIT SCI 22, 327–340 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11366-017-9485-8

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Keywords

  • Social control
  • Social governance
  • Social management
  • State governance modernization