Civic Participation from Discourse to Action in Non-Democracies: Russia and China in Comparative Perspective
4 September 2017 - 3 September 2020
PI/s in Exeter: Dr Catherine Owen
CI/s in Exeter: Professor David Lewis
Funding awarded: £244185
Sponsor(s): British Academy
About the research
This project examines the extent to which citizens participate in local government decision-making processes in two large, middle-income, non-democratic states: Russia and China. It compares the ways in which active citizenship is promoted in government discourse at the state level, and the extents to which this discourse is put into practice at the local level in two case study regions (Xi’an, China, and Samara, Russia). Global processes of public sector reform have created the need for increased citizen participation in the policy process in countries around the world; yet, like other advanced, non-democratic states, the Russian and Chinese governments face the additional task of balancing the cultivation of an active and engaged citizenry with that of limiting political pluralism. This project interrogates the dynamics of this balance from a comparative perspective and aims to provide a deeper understanding of the ways in which civic participation is used to ensure both political stability and effective policy-making in non-democratic states.