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Rural Development and “Corporatization-based Community-level Government”


By Zhao Shukai

The feature of corporatization-based community-level government is mainly reflected by taking economic growth and especially fiscal revenue as the utmost driver. Since reform and opening-up, economy in rural areas has witnessed high-speed growth, farmers’ livelihoods are remarkably improved, but social conflicts have also occurred prominently. Itis held that the occurrence of rural governance crisis is mainly rooted in excessive interference in the economic development by the government. One of the core issues discussed in political economics is the role and function of the government in national economic development. The concept of “development-oriented government” is mainly used in the analysis of Northeast Asia’s development, but with China’s rapid economic development after reform and opening-up, scholars began to apply this model to illustrate China’s economic performance.New changes took place in China’s rural areas and townships in 1990s. This paper proposes the concept of “corporatization-based community-level government” to sum up the operation logic of community-level governments. The mode of “corporatization-based community-level government” has played a huge and positive role in economic development, but at the same time it has bred occurrence of “governance crisis”. In Northeast Asia, the negative effects brought about by “development-orientedgovernment” are mainly reflected in the unsound market mechanism; while in China, it has also caused severe problems of supply shortage by community-level government and stagnant social development. The fundamental cause for the current “governance crisis” is characterized by corporatization-based government. To fundamentally solve the “governance crisis”, the government must make reform and innovate its operation procedures. Only through the practice of community-level democracy to put community-level government’s operation under the supervision and accountability of the public and have the government operation based on social demand can we really change the corporatization-based development trend for community-level government and trulyturn the community-level government operation mechanism into a publicservice-centered one.

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