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Scholars from China, Latin America discuss state governance

By Deng Zhimei | 2016-05-26 | Hits:
(Chinese Social Sciences Today)

Women shout slogans during a protest against Brazil's interim President Michel Temer and in support of suspended President Dilma Rousseff at Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo, Brazil, May 17, 2016.


Building more effective states in China and Latin America was the theme of an international symposium held in Beijing on May 16. The experiences of China and Latin American states were compared and explored at the symposium.

The symposium also witnessed the release of the Chinese translated edition of the Annual Report 2015 published by Andean Development Corporation (CAF)-Development Bank of Latin America.

At the symposium, Pablo Brassiolo, chief economist of the CAF-Development Bank of Latin America, outlined the major issues discussed in the report. The report explores ways to promote state governance capacity in Latin American states as well as how to more effectively make and implement public policy. This report suggests ways to improve state governance, cultivate a civil service system, make public procurement more cost effective, increase civil participation and manage public policy.

Cui Shoujun, director of Institute of Research on Latin America at Renmin University of China, said weak governance capacity can restrict a state’s social and economic development. Cui cited American political scientist Samuel Huntington, who pointed out that most important difference between states is their ability to govern rather than the form of government.

The governments in some developing countries today are incapable of infiltrating into the web of modern society, weakening the state’s ability to manage social resources and rendering the state powerless to regulate its citizens. Therefore, states should prioritize governance capacity, Cui said.

“How to build a more effective state is actually a common problem faced by China, Latin American countries and many other developing countries,” said Wu Baiyi, director of the Institute of Latin American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). Now at an important stage of reform and development, China needs to learn from other countries the experience of building a more effective state. Therefore, this report may offer an important reference and inspiration for China.

Some scholars said that crises in some Latin American countries have resulted from the inability of governments and ruling parties to solve development problems, and this report offers valuable advice to states struggling to build their capacity to govern.


Deng Zhimei is a reporter at the Chinese Social Sciences Today.