Social Development in the PRC: the case of education in a Shanxi

15th Biennial Conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia1
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Carrillo-Garcia, B (2004). Decentralization and Local Processes of Social Development in the PRC: the case of education in a Shanxi country town, Asia Examined: Proceedings of the 15th Biennial Conference of the ASAA, 15th Biennial Conference of the ASAA, Asian Studies Association of Australia, Online, pp. 1-11
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New organizational and institutional arrangements introduced by economic reform in 1978 have significantly influenced the Chinese development process, particularly the ways in which different government levels take part in that development. An important element of that institutional restructuring has been decentralization efforts, which have been responsible for the radical changes in the relationship between the Centre and sub-national governments. Increased local government autonomy has strengthened local agency, allowing for greater maneuvering space in the formulation of local solutions. The main objective of those decentralization efforts has been directed towards regional economic efficiency and liberalization. Local governments are in effect the ones implementing China’s development agenda, playing a more active role in directing growth and interpreting and mediating social and environmental issues (Skinner et al. 2003), but also carrying a stronger responsibility in making that development more inclusive. Formulation and implementation of national policies – characterized by their gradual and experimental nature – continue to reaffirm the importance of the local input.
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