By Lily L. Tsai
This publication examines the elemental factor of the way voters get govt officers to supply them with the roads, colleges, and different public providers they want by way of learning groups in rural China. In authoritarian and transitional structures, formal associations for containing executive officers responsible are frequently susceptible. the reply, Lily L. Tsai came across, lies in a community's social associations. even if formal democratic and bureaucratic associations of responsibility are vulnerable, govt officers can nonetheless be topic to casual principles and norms created by means of group solidary teams that experience earned excessive ethical status in the neighborhood.
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Extra resources for Accountability Without Democracy: Solidary Groups and Public Goods Provision in Rural China
Alejandro Portes, “Social Capital: Its Origins and Applications in Modern Sociology,” Annual Review of Sociology 24, no. 1 (1998), 1–24. Boix and Posner discuss ﬁve possible models of how social capital might lead to government effectiveness, but all of these models assume that government ofﬁcials have a preference for public goods provision or that there are preexisting institutions – democratic or otherwise – that hold government ofﬁcials accountable for providing public goods provision. Boix and Posner, “Social Capital,” 686–93.
These chapters suggest that informal institutions of accountability are important for village public goods provision, but would formal ones be any better? Any discussion of village governance in China would be incomplete without considering the recent grassroots reforms implementing elections for village ofﬁcials and other democratic institutions such as villagers’ representative assemblies. We often assume that democratization is good for governmental accountability. Chapter 7 evaluates this assumption empirically using a combination of statistical analysis and case study evidence.
The researcher can hold certain conditions constant – such as regime type, political ideology, or history – while focusing on the effects that other factors might have on the outcome of interest: governmental performance and public goods provision. The huge range of regional variation in rural China makes it ideal for this kind of study, but it also requires a great deal of effort to collect information on a large number of different localities. On the other hand, to develop a deep understanding of how local institutions inﬂuence political behavior, it is also necessary to learn how actual villagers and ofﬁcials interact with one another on a day-to-day basis in actual communities.
Accountability Without Democracy: Solidary Groups and Public Goods Provision in Rural China by Lily L. Tsai