This article examines the next stage in the movement towards self-government in rural China: that is, the direct election of town-level executives. Theoretically, as the article asserts, with the mechanisms and statutes currently in place, direct elections at the town level could generate a two-pronged disaffection. First, there may be alienation between the executives directly elected at the town level and those already directly elected at the village level, namely a “vertical organizational alienation.” Second, there may be alienation between the directly elected “town executives” and the town legislature (People’s Congress), namely a “horizontal governmental alienation.” After describing the possible points of confrontation, the article concludes by proposing how such discord can be prevented from arising and suggests that until the potential problems attendant on these elections have been successfully tackled direct elections at the town level should not be extended into other regions. Copyright © 2010 Journal of Chinese Political Science/Association of Chinese Political Studies.
CitationShen, S. (2010). Disharmony at the grassroots level: Possible alienation caused by town-level direct elections in China. Journal of Chinese Political Science, 15(2), 191-203.
- Direct elections of town-level executives
- Electoral governance
- First-Past-the-Post (FPTP) Electoral System
- Horizontal governmental alienation
- Law of the majority rule
- Proportional Representation (PR) System
- Vertical organizational alienation