A Pluralistic and Participatory Community Governance Model for Urban China in the Era of Economic and Spatial Restructuring
Bian Fang, Lü Bin
As China’s socio-economic development is entering into a transitioning era, urban residents’ demands are becoming more diversified, complicated, and fragmented. Ought to address issues regarding community environmental renovation, infrastructure and facilities constructions, and efficient public service supplies, measures should be adopted to adjust the urban community governance model in China to face emergent challenges. Against this background, this paper argues that the “participating actors,” “community management and organization framework,” “related laws, regulations, and policies,” and “resources allocation and management” are the four crucial dimensions in urban community governance. We then adopted these four underpinnings as the theoretical framework to unravel the complex dynamics of community governance in contemporary urban China. This paper argues that the current community governance system falls short in accommodating the growing demands of community development due to “ambiguity of participating actors,” “excessive administrative intervention on community management,” “insufficient legislation supports,” and a “deficiency in financing management system.” Therefore, this paper argues that through the pluralization of public participation, diversification of community organization modes, and the enhancement of participation accessibility, community governance performance in urban China could be drastically improved. Therefore, a pluralistic and participatory community governance model is proposed in this paper to provide additional policy implications for community governance in urban China.
Keywords community governance; public participation; community development; pluralism; urban China