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Title: Model-making and policy change in China
Author: Cheung, Shun Yan Olivia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 145X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis studies how conflicts over political ideas influence policy change in China. It argues that officials cultivate selected local areas into models in order to implement new policies, often under the rubric of paradigm shifts, or a reinterpretation of existing ideology. Models are platforms for ideational conflicts in the Party to be expressed, for consensus to be expanded within existing political factions, and for popular support to be mobilised. Model-making influences policy change in areas beyond the local policy experiments in which they are originally implemented by serving as intellectual testing grounds for new policies, triggering horizontal policy diffusion, and sowing the seeds for change. The arguments are developed from five detailed case studies of model-making from the late Mao period in the 1960s until 2012. These cases include three single case studies - Dazhai Model (1964-1978), Anhui Model (1979-1980) and Nanjie Model (mid-1980s to the present) - and two comparative cases in which the models were developed in dialogic relationship to one another by competing political factions - the Shenzhen Model vis-à-vis the Shekou Model (1979-1989), and the Guangdong Model vis-à-vis the Chongqing Model (2008-2012). Based on their structural characteristics, this thesis argues that these models were best understood as exemplifying one or more of the following four categories: political theatre models, "rightful resistance" models, Maoist nostalgia models, and experimental zone models. This study relies mainly on first-hand data collected from fieldwork, archival records, and official Party and government publications. It advances model-making as a new theoretical framework to study ideational conflicts and factionalism in a historically comparative perspective. In addition, it contributes to the debate of authoritarian resilience by demonstrating that China's reform process was in fact significantly more contested than what is commonly ascribed to the policy process of authoritarian regimes.
Supervisor: Thornton, Patricia M. Sponsor: Swire Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Chinese studies ; Public policy ; Political science