Downsizing the central government : The case of the People's Republic of China

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-330
Journal / PublicationManagement
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999


This paper documents the downsizing experience in China since 1954 to 1998. Over years, China's reform initiatives on the central government have been changed. They were attempts in adjusting the extent of functional integration or differentiation of the state organs of the central government in relation to the remainder of the body politic. Post-Mao administrative reforms were taken to deal mainly with the problem of political erosion of administrative authority, thus facilitating the state to recover its administrative functions. Although western countries look for ways to shrink the state in order to integrate the state with politics, China seeks to institutionalize the state so as to suppress politics. Charting the course of administrative reforms in China requires an understanding that China's transformational experience is institutionally associated with the character of the regime.

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