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Title: Si ying qi ye yu di fang zheng fu de li yi yu [i.e. xian] jie : nei di yu yan hai si ying qi ye li yi tuan ti de ge an bi jiao yan jiu
Other Titles: Interest articulation between the private enterprises and local government : a comparative case study of the private enterprises associations in inland and coastal cities
Si ying qi ye yu di fang zheng fu de li yi xian jie
Authors: Wang, Tong (王彤)
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Studies
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: City University of Hong Kong
Subjects: Free enterprise -- Political aspects -- China
Local government -- China
Trade associations -- Political aspects -- China
Notes: CityU Call Number: HD2429.C6 W36 2006
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 138-148)
Thesis (Ph.D.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2006
vii, 151 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Type: Thesis
Abstract: China's market economy reform is very famous, not only because it brings us an almost two-digit annual GDP growth rate, but also because China is one of the few communist countries that could maintain political stability in a single-party system, as a popular expectation is that a market economy will breed societal forces eventually threatening its political system. Concerned with the functions of social associations that appeared in the Chinese mainland since the beginning of economic reform, my research focuses on the interest articulation system between private enterprises and local governments. Private enterprises are new social forces generated in reform era. A prime concern is whether the growth of private economic power will eventually lead to political democratization. According to systems theory, economic actors as interest-maximizers would increase their effort to shape policy outputs in favour of their own interests. To research on the interest articulation system between private enterprises and local governments will help us understand how interest is represented in a communist regime adopting a market economy. I chose the Private Enterprises Associations of Taiyuan City, Hangzhou City and Shenzhen City, which are respectively inland, coastal and special economic zone of China, as case studies because I wish to indicate the developing trend of these associations. My research showed that the best theoretical frameworks to apply are "state corporatism" and “clientelism”, as far as the interest articulation system between private entrepreneurs and local governments is concerned. The Private Enterprises Associations (some are called Private Entrepreneur Associations) that are attached (gua kao) to the Municipal Administration for Industry and Commerce (MAIC) in both coastal and inland cities, claimed as bridges connecting the government and private entrepreneurs, are actually utilized by the government to control the new social forces. Although they do provide services to private enterprises, and help private enterprises articulate their interest to a certain extent, their major function is to educate and self-regulate private enterprises to follow state policies. For private entrepreneurs, the most effective way for them to communicate with the government and to solve their problems is still through "Guanxi" (connections). A new phenomenon we may pay attention to is that, in addition to the Private Entrepreneur Associations which are affiliated with the MAIC, some small-scale associations of private entrepreneurs are established in both Taiyuan and Shenzhen. The small-scale associations, especially the ones in Shenzhen, are much more active than the Private Entrepreneur Associations that are affiliated with the MAIC. My research on these associations shows that the activities of these associations are positively related to the local economic development. In Shenzhen, where the overall economy and the private economy are more developed than those in inland cities, the associations are more active and represent more of their members’ interests rather than the government’s interests. As required by the Regulations for Registration and Management of Social Organizations, these associations still have to be attached to some local government agencies, or half-government agencies. However, the establishment of these associations is mainly pushed by private entrepreneurs themselves. The leaders of these associations are mainly private entrepreneurs. Their fund is from their own membership fees and they have autonomy in controlling the fund. In order to attract members, these associations emphasize more on representing their members’ interests. The functions of these associations are changing towards societal corporatism. Currently the state and the society relationship in China is a hybrid of corporatism, group clientelism and individual clientelism. On the one hand, the state is trying to establish a corporatist structure to provide a channel for interest representation; on the other hand, clientelism called guanxi still serves as the main channel for interest representation. In inland cities, the associations of Private Enterprises are utilized by the state to control the new social forces. It is state corporatist structure. However, in Shenzhen, where the overall economy and the private economy are more developed, the functions of some associations of the Private Enterprises started to be changing from state corporatism towards societal corporatism. Based on my research, I would anticipate that, along with the economic development and the growth of the private economy, the state and the society relationship will first change from a hybrid of state corporatism and clientelism towards a hybrid of state corporatism, societal corporatism and clientelism. And then it will gradually change towards a hybrid of societal corporatism and clientelism.
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