When Western Administrative Theories Meet China’s Government Reforms: Do they fit?

Leizhen Zang, Chenguang Sun


Embedded in the epoch of globalization, initiatives of governmental reforms among countries are intertwined, especially when these countries seek to gain wider experience from their counterparts’ suggestible pathways. However, scholars are inclined to oversimplify their analytical frameworks when conducting comparative research on administrative reforms. This paper intends to interpret and analyze such simplification of comparative studies which might result in the continuing promotion of a failing approach or the aimless transplantation of other countries’ reform experience and theories, the phenomenon not uncommon in studies of China’s administrative practices. This paper reveals an overlooked context, namely, that the adaptation of international theories of institutional reform has not achieved the intended goals in China’s case. Through our analysis, we aim to use China’s example to highlight the need to consider its social and cultural context in adapting Western administrative theories, and to suggest how scholars can better advise the government in the process of administrative reforms.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22140/cpar.v9i2.123


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