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Deliberative Democracy and Village Self-government in China

  • Qingshan Tan

Abstract

Some theories of deliberative democracy go beyond representative democracy’s focus on electoral participation to advocate for the inclusion of popular deliberation in processes of decisionmaking. Deliberative democracy has been developed in the context of Western representative democracies where democracy is largely practiced through electoral politics, which emphasizes citizens’ participation in democratic governance through the exercise of regularized voting. Much of the decisionmaking in these democracies has been delegated to representatives who, in turn, aggregate various interests into policies through such decisionmaking institutions as legislatures, courts, and executives. Still, there is a need to strengthen democratic practices by opening up the policy process to the participation and deliberation of citizens who must live under the policies set forth by the state. Public policy should not result from the influences of mere power or money; rather, it should be the product of a deliberative process in which the members of the public have equal access to voice their opinion. It is through this deliberative process that more public awareness and consensus on policy can be promoted. Deliberative democracy cannot totally replace representative democratic institutions of decisionmaking, but it can supplement them and, in so doing, contribute to remedying the inadequacies of representative democracies.

Keywords

Deliberative Democracy Deliberative Process Civil Affair Village Election Township Government 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Ethan J. Leib and Baogang He 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qingshan Tan

There are no affiliations available

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