China and Inner Asia
Session Abstract: 2020 is the final year for the highly prioritised national Targeted Poverty Alleviation Policy (TPAP) in China’s poverty-stricken areas. Although the programme has aroused significant interest from international scholars, most research focuses on political and technical aspects of project implementation, whereas the role of local actors remains largely unexplored. However, we argue that the behaviour of local actors, i.e. village- and county-level cadres and communities, has significant influence on the success of TPAP projects.
Hence, this panel addresses the local realities of TPAP projects. Through a multi-disciplinary approach, this panel investigates both sides of involved stakeholders, i.e. local politicians and bureaucrats as well as rural households. Chen and Xiong analyse the role of First Party Secretaries in Chinese poverty-stricken villages, drawing from qualitative field research in the provinces Henan, Anhui, and Guangdong. The authors do not only provide insights into responsibility mechanisms at play, but also propose a new research framework, Authoritarian Consolidation, to examine how the behaviour of local political actors in the context of TPAP influences the CCP’s consolidation of power. Liu contributes to the research on central-local relationships with evidence from two counties in Jiangxi province which have similar conditions but diverging poverty outcomes, while focusing on the role of local governments. Hauser and Fischer, in turn, depict a bottom-up image of stakeholder participation in relevant projects through policy analysis and discourse analysis. Ultimately, Donaldson’s empirical findings from Guizhou province on TPAP’s adverse effects at the county level underscore the importance of bottom-up perspectives on poverty alleviation.
Paper Presenter: Anna S. Hauser – China Business and Economics, University of Wuerzburg
Co-author: Doris Fischer – China Business and Economics, University of Wuerzburg
Paper Presenter: John A. Donaldson – Singapore Management University
Paper Presenter: Xuelian Chen – Academy of CCP Party History and Literature
Co-author: Daohong Xiong – Academy of CCP Party History and Literature
Paper Presenter: Lu Liu – National University of Singapore