By Lily L. Tsai

This booklet examines the basic factor of the way voters get govt officers to supply them with the roads, colleges, and different public prone they want by way of learning groups in rural China. In authoritarian and transitional platforms, formal associations for containing govt officers liable are usually vulnerable. the reply, Lily L. Tsai came upon, lies in a community's social associations. even if formal democratic and bureaucratic associations of responsibility are vulnerable, govt officers can nonetheless be topic to casual ideas and norms created by means of neighborhood solidary teams that experience earned excessive ethical status in the neighborhood.

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Extra info for Accountability Without Democracy: Solidary Groups and Public Goods Provision in Rural China

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16 While these informal intergovernmental transfers certainly have some positive effects, there is nothing to guarantee that transfers are distributed equitably or effectively. In many places, they simply peter out over time. 13 14 15 16 34 Interview with former head of county civil affairs bureau, eastern Hebei province, April 25, 2001. Interview with male village official, northern Fujian province, October 18, 2001. Interview with male village official, southwestern Shanxi province, April 19, 2001.

Bardhan and D. Mookherjee, “Decentralization, Corruption, and Government Accountability: An Overview,” in Handbook of Economic Corruption, ed. Susan Rose-Ackerman (Northampton: Edward Elgar, 2005), 305– 28; H. Cai and Daniel Treisman, “State-Corroding Federalism,” Journal of Public Economics 88, no. 3 (2004), 819–43; Judith Tendler, Good Government in the Tropics (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1997), 599–617. Scholars of China have also observed negative effects of decentralization policies in China.

The social groups that the model of informal accountability identifies as beneficial to governmental performance can therefore differ significantly from the ones identified by theories of civil society and social capital. The category of solidary groups can include groups that are supposedly “traditional” – clans, tribes, temple groups, community festival groups, and community self-help groups – as well as groups considered “modern,” such as public advocacy groups, philanthropic organizations and charities, and environmental groups.

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