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The Changes and Frontiers of China’s Social Governance

Social Sciences in China Review

No.3, 2018

 

The Changes and Frontiers of China’s Social Governance

 

Editor’s note:

 

In the 40 years since the reform and opening-up, Chinas economy has developed rapidly and society has undergone dramatic changes. Under the changes and impact of the external environment, how do individuals, organizations, society, and the country manage themselves so that the entire country and society can respond to new problems, new conditions and new situations brought about by development? Thus, it has been an important issue closely related to every individual in society to meet the goals proposed in the 19th National Congress: “From 2020 to 2035, the modernization of China’s system of and capability for governance will be basically achieved, a modern social governance system will basically take shape, and society will be full of vitality, harmony and order.” “From 2035 to the middle of the 21st century, the modernization of China’s system and capability for governance will be achieved.”

Against this background, the topic the changes and frontiers of Chinas social governance is introduced in this issue, which is based on the round-table dialogues on Chinas grassroots social governance and the frontiers of governance reform in an academic seminar on Governance in Development organized by the Department of Sociology and the Center for Chinese Society and Development at Peking University on May 26-27, 2018.

In “The Changes and Context of Grassroots Social Governance in China: A Dialogue,” Li Lianjiang, professor of the Department of Politics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Zhang Jing, professor of the Department of Sociology at Peking University, Liu Shouying, professor of the School of Economics at Renmin University of China, and Ying Xing, professor of the School of Sociology at China University of Political Science and Law, sort out and redefine the concept of governance. Ying Xing has summarized five general clues to understand the changes in China’s grassroots social governance in the past 40 years. In terms of urban governance, Zhang Jing believes that organized relationship in China have changed, with a large number of organizations outside the system emerged but the established system has a low degree of integration with the members and organizations outside the system. This poses a challenge to social governance. Liu Shouying offers his understanding of rural governance and social transformation, the core issues in rural governance, and the structure of rural order.

In “Challenges Posed by Financial and Technological Change to Governance: A Dialogue,” Chen Jiexuan, professor of the Department of Sociology at Tunghai University in Taiwan, reviewed the reshaping effect of finance onsystem and the impact of finance on governance at different levels. Liu Shiding, professor of the Center for Chinese Society and Development at Peking University, argues that, from the perspective of contracts, three finance-related issues on governance merit our attention: inflation control, wealth distribution in the context of finance and information technology, and property rights protection. Qiu Zeqi, distinguished professor of the Changjiang Scholars Program and professor of the Center for Chinese Society and Development at Peking University, argues that the rapid upgrading speed of technology faces governance with dual challenges, namely technology governance and social governance, and the imbalance between market and society is also worth noting. Si Xiao, dean of Tencent Research Institute, analyzed the responsibility of the platform and the prospects for applying technology in governance.

We hope that the exchange of ideas is helpful to the academic research on social governance in China.