Searching for the Deliberative Democracy Elements in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. A case study of the local People’s Political Consultative Conference in Ningbo, China
Sammanfattning: Democratisation is an issue that has been discussed a lot both within and outside China. The Chinese government has generated its own explanation of a socialist democracy that features with the people’s democracy and the ‘deliberative democracy’ as they claimed. Deliberative democracy was newly introduced to China around 2003, and in recent years, there is a tendency to adopt it in one of the Chinese government institutions called the People’s Political Consultative Conference (PPCC). Therefore, this thesis will study the deliberative democracy theory and its potential practice in the local PPCC institution. It will be a local level study of the Ningbo municipal PPCC and it is focused on its institutional and procedural stipulations and the actual practice. A qualitative case study with a methodological triangulation approach will be adopted for the thesis. The methods used are the in-depth interview, participant observation and documents analysis. The study is from the angle of the PPCC institution and people who are working inside it, rather than the wider range of the whole society. It will not represent the public opinion on this deliberative democracy practice. The research question is: despite the one-party authoritarian nature of the Chinese political regime, to what extent does the local PPCC practice reflect any deliberative democracy element? The result of the study shows that the institutional and procedural stipulations may not reflect so many elements of the deliberative democracy theory, mostly because of the democratic authenticity of the institution and its elite-orientated member-selection processes. However, the case studies demonstrate that the actual practice of the PPCC measures up to the deliberation part of the theory and with a potential tendency towards more democratic transition.
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