Rural Transformations and Development – China in Context
Show Less

Rural Transformations and Development – China in Context

The Everyday Lives of Policies and People

Edited by Norman Long, Jingzhong Ye and Yihuan Wang

This unique book explores the varied perspectives on contemporary processes of rural transformation and policy intervention in China. The expert contributors combine a critical review of current theoretical viewpoints and global debates with a series of case studies that document the specificities of China’s pathways to change. Central issues focus on the dynamics of state–peasant encounters; the diversification of labour and livelihoods; out-migration and the blurring of rural and urban scenarios; the significance of issues of ‘value’ and ‘capital’ and their gender implications; land ownership and sustainable resource management; struggles between administrative cadres and local actors; and the dilemmas of ‘participatory’ development.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 14: ‘Accountability’ in Contemporary Rural China: Yu Lu Village Case Study

Solange Guo Chatelard


Solange Guo Chatelard This chapter will present a theoretical argument on the increasingly popular concept of ‘accountability’, together with a specific local case study of development policy implementation in contemporary rural China. According to Isunza Vera, accountability has three primary functions: informative, explanatory and enforcing. In other words, accountability is a three-dimensional process whereby responsible political actors have to enumerate their actions, justify them, and finally be in a position where they may be sanctioned for these actions (Isunza Vera 2003). As a conventional concept developed and debated within western social sciences, accountability may be problematic as an effective analytical tool to understand contemporary Chinese social reality. This is primarily due to the implied semantic field of possible complementary concepts that can be associated with ‘accountability’ which do not exist per se in Chinese political culture (that is, sovereign citizenship, individual and collective ‘rights’, political transparency, political participation, rational contracts or agreements, and so on), although there have been efforts to translate these concepts into the modern Chinese language.1 Together with other buzzwords like ‘good governance’, ‘transparency’ and ‘civil society’, ‘accountability’ is often used in the discourse on policy implementation and development work by government officials, non-governmental officers (NGO) workers and development practitioners. Within these discourses of social policy and implementation, the more fundamental question of the philosophical and theoretical groundings of such a concept is usually ignored. This chapter does not deal in particular with the ‘western’ concept of accountability, or with its other correlating concepts, but it will...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.