The season's choice: Four noteworthy Chinese publications in winter 2020

Hanyu XIAO, Wenyan TU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


This article introduces four of the latest, high-quality papers published in China's top journals. The first article is an in-depth discussion of "government as a platform" contributing to an emerging and timely discussion of digital government in the public management literature. By employing the theory of "loose coupling" from organizational institutionalism, the second study introduces a new theoretical concept, that is, a "security zone for achievement" to synthesize the seemingly contradictory propositions derived from credit claiming and blame avoidance, based on a city's trajectory in a Smart City project. The third paper proposes a theoretical alternative, prioritizing the Party committee's assigned tasks, to supplement the existing explanations of local governance in China as applied to water treatment in provincial China. Such a mechanism is different from the campaign-style governance model because the Party committee plays a key role in providing substantial institutional incentives. The final paper conceptualizes institutional frictions in the Chinese context and explains different spending patterns across functional expenditures at the provincial level, suggesting a local leader's tenure may influence target selections for punctuated expenditures. The paper concludes with a brief summary. Copyright © 2021 清華大學.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-172
JournalChina Public Administration Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


Xiao, H., & Tu, W. (2021). The season's choice: Four noteworthy Chinese publications in winter 2020. China Public Administration Review, 2021(1), 153-172.


  • Public affairs platform
  • Bureaucracy
  • Government innovation
  • Performance evaluation
  • Personnel management
  • Vertical governance
  • Local leaders
  • Expenditure structure
  • Institutional frictions


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