New Agenda for the Study of Chinese Governance

  • Jianxing Yu
  • Shizong Wang


Governance theory originated in the West, but China may well be the biggest “consumer” of this theory. Quite a few Chinese scholars have high expectations of this theory, either in delivery of public services or in political progress. Since the 1990s, public governance has undergone a distinct shift from centralized government to pluralistic cooperation. Moreover, the term governance has attained universal recognition because it can be applied in myriad domains and in any sense. Even within academic communities, there has been a long-existing controversy regarding the understanding of governance and the applicability of governance theory in China. After the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Central Government officially employed the modern state governance system, the modernization of governance capacity, and social governance, which have contributed to the discord between official discourse and academic concept. All of these are a fair reflection of core contradictions between governance and state building and between state governance and social governance in contemporary China. Future research on Chinese governance may need to revolve around these core contradictions. This chapter attempts to review major research progress and disputes after the introduction of governance theory into China, reflect on the dilemma between state governance and social governance in China, and ultimately propose the research agenda of Chinese governance.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Jianxing Yu
    • 1
  • Shizong Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Public AffairsZhejiang UniversityHangzhou, ZhejiangChina

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