Both India and China have experienced economic changes that have generated new challenges for local institutions. This volume closely studies the resultant grass-roots political experiences in these countries from an interdisciplinary perspective. It examines the process of democratization and highlights the growing demands for participation and the complex power structures interjecting them.
The contributors to this volume discuss issues relating to institutional structures and the dynamics of local governance in a changing socio-economic environment. In addition to the political economy of rural areas, they also focus on the role of gender, ethnicity, and religion in local political processes.
Outlines how institutional innovation has evolved in both countries; Highlights the impact of the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution (in India) and the Organic Law (in China) in facilitating political participation; Investigates how far the new democratic processes have reduced ethnic subordination, caste hierarchy, and gender injustice at the village level
Comprising individual case studies as well as comparative perspectives, this pioneering volume raises new issues of institution-building and socio-economic change vis-à-vis the right to participate. It will be of particular interest to political scientists, sociologists, and social activists.
Selecting within the Rules: Institutional Innovation in China's Governance1
Following the Fifteenth Party Congress (1997), there was not only a consolidation of the villagers’ election programme but also an increased interest in reforming township government. A small number of localities took General Secretary Jiang Zemin's comments to extend the ‘scope of democracy’ at the grass-roots level and to establish a ‘sound system of democratic elections’ for grass-roots organs of power as a green light to experiment with township elections (Jiang, 1997). Subsequent reports of the first direct election of a township head in Buyun, Sichuan Province, stirred great interest within China and abroad that this might mark the extension of direct elections from the village ...