As China rapidly modernizes, the economic improvements and policy changes have drastically altered the landscape of rural governance. In The Transformation of Governance in Rural China, An Chen provides a persuasive and insightful study on the evolving nature of rural governance in China, based on extensive data. Chen argues that the series of policy changes that started in the 1990s, including the 1994 tax reform, the tax-for-fee reform (TFR), and the abolition of the agricultural tax (AAT), has transformed rural governance by undermining the village cadres' political source of authority. The immediate consequence is not chaos in the Chinese countryside, but rather the emergence of new ruling elites—“entrepreneur cadres.” They use their private wealth and market expertise to help fellow villagers acquire wealth. This is in essence private authority. Although entrepreneur cadres are still appointed and authorized by the party-state, they only serve the regime's interests so long as...
Skip Nav Destination
Book Review| February 01 2016
The Transformation of Governance in Rural China: Market, Finance, and Political Authority
The Transformation of Governance in Rural China: Market, Finance, and Political Authority. By An Chen.
Cambridge University Press,
2015. xvi, 391 pp. ISBN 9781107081758 (cloth; also available as e-book).
Journal of Asian Studies (2016) 75 (1): 215–216.
Dan Chen; The Transformation of Governance in Rural China: Market, Finance, and Political Authority. Journal of Asian Studies 1 February 2016; 75 (1): 215–216. doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021911815001734
Download citation file: