China and Inner Asia

Organized Panel Session

2 - Exploring the Pivotal Role of Leading Small Groups in Chinese Policy Making

Friday, March 23
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Washington Room 6, Exhibit Level

Despite the recent developments in studies of dyadic factional ties and cadre promotions, we lack systematic knowledge about overarching coordinative patterns in Chinese policy making. This not only constrains our ability to explore how various policies are communicated and formulated among elites in China, but also hinders our understanding of the dynamics of advancing major reform projects. To contribute to the literature on policy making in China, this paper focuses on the composition and organizational rules of leading small groups (LSGs). LSGs, though not incorporated into charts of Party or government organs, play a pivotal role in communication, implementation and coordination of important policies. Building on the new institutionalism approach pioneered by Nathan and Tsai (1995) and recent developments in organizational networks, this study approaches LSGs by exploring their complex network patterns. Using a new database of LSGs in the Central Committee and the State Council (Batke and Stepan, 2016), we are able to explore and compare key network characteristics of these LSGs. Finally, the exponential random graph models are introduced to detect the differences and commonalities in the rules underlying the personnel composition and organization of Central and State LSGs.

Matthias Stepan

MERICS, Berlin, Germany

Presentation(s):

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Narisong Huhe

University of Strathclyde, Scotland, United Kingdom

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