Bargaining Conditions Between Central and Provincial Government in China 1978-1993

Author: Huo, Shitao
The first clear and concise analysis of how economic decentralization in China has created autonomous leverages for the provincial governments, and how through bargaining, concessions, and cooperation with the provincial governments that the central government has promoted rapid economic growth.


“Dr. Huo’s work is a powerful challenge to the conventional wisdom, combining both a theoretical command of relevant social science literature and an empirical revelation of hidden realities in this particular period of time…The material that he gathered in China for this book is rich, exciting, and important.”
-Dr. Edward Friedman,
Department of Political Science,
University of Wisconsin-Madison

“The special merit of Dr. Huo’s work is to clarify the confusion (political and economic development) by bringing new insights and enlightenment to the current state of knowledge about China.”
-Dr. Yi-Fu Tuan,
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Table of Contents

Foreword by Yi-Fu Tuan
Chapter 1:
Theories and Method

I. Political Discourse of Transition in Retrospect
1. The Chinese Context and the Political Discourse of Transition
2. Transition as Governmental Coalition and Its Rationale
(1) Current Approaches Toward State-Society Relationships
(2) Failure of Both Approaches In China
(3) Center-Province bargaining Coalition
(4) Transition As A Process of Political Compromise Between Center and Peripheries
(5) Chinese Reform As A Governmental bargaining Coalition
II. Building bargaining Coalition - - A Theoretical Framework
1. A Historical and Institutional perspective on Transition
2. Factors mediating Transition
3. Building Bargaining Coalition in China
4. System Paradox in Coalition Politics
III. Data and Methodological Considerations 1. Data and Methods
2. Methodological Considerations
(1) Analytical Indicators
(2) Comparative cases Study
(3) The Structure of Writing
Chapter 2:
Historical and Institutional Legacies

I. Centralization of Disillusionment
1. Central Empire over Regional Powers
2. Cycles of Mandate and Fragmentation
II. Consistent efforts for Institutional Remedies
1. Political Systems before Modern China
2. Pattern of Central-Local Relations in Leninist China
III. What Went Wrong?
1. Other Perspectives on the Cycle of Mandate and Fragmentation
2. The Role of Primordialism and Instrumentalism
3. Summary
Chapter 3:
Building Bargaining Coalitions in Economic Decentralization

I. Factors Mediating Transitions
1. The Changing Images of Center and Localities
2. Sense of Responsibility
3. The Irresistible Tide of Deideologization
4. Exogenous Demonstrations and Impact
II. The Formation of bargaining Coalitions
1. The nature of Coalition Partners
2. The Principle for Winning
3. The Pattern of Decision-Making
III. The Allocation of Institutional Mechanisms
1. Acknowledgement of Tangible Status
2. Conveyance of Responsibility and Resources
3. Allocation to Particular Partners and Special Locations
IV. Maintenance of the Bargaining Coalitions
1. Differences among Actors
2. Availability of Information and Communication
3. The Adjustment of Expectations and Strategies
V. System Paradox in Coalitional Politics
VI. Summary
Chapter 4:
Political Coalitions in Action

I. “1980s Coalition” –the Case of Guangdong
1. Vicissitude of “Localism” in Guangdong
2. Important Factors Mediating Change in Guangdong
3. Formation of 1980s’ Central-Guangdong Coalition
4. Institutional basis of Central-Guangdong Coalition
5. Policy Differences and Adjustment of Strategies
II. “Pudong Coalition” – the Case of Shanghai
1. Elder Brother and a Latecomer
2. Endogenous and Exogenous Conditions Inducing Transition
3. The Formation of 1990s’ Coalition
4. Institutional Allocation for Central-Pudong Coalition
5. Maintaining the Pudong Coalition
Chapter 5:
Political Transition in Economic Decentralization

I. Identify the Distinctions and Similarities
II. The Contending Explanations
III. The Silent Political Transition within Economic Decentralization
Chapter 6:
I. Interactive Dimensions in the Power Restructuring
II. Opportunities of Political Transition
III. Alternative partner of Political Coalitions
List of Interviewees