Purpose - Legislative hearings are a relatively new way of encouraging citizen participation in administrative law making within China. The first such hearing in Liaoning Province (Dalian City) was held in April 2005. The purpose of this paper is to examine the detail of the hearing process and attempts to assess its effectiveness as a mechanism for engagement between citizen and the state. Design/methodology/approach - The authors consider both the practicalities of running a public hearing and its influence on the legal regulations under scrutiny. More generally, and within the limits of one case study, we consider whether hearings have the potential to shift the balance of power away from the state and its officials towards a more inclusive form of decision-making. Findings - Legislative public hearings appear to offer the opportunity for public engagement. The out-workings of these in practice, if the Dalian case study and secondary evidence from five other Chinese cities is typical, suggests practical limitations, some of which are bound up with the cultural origins of a paternalistic public sector in China and deference to authority. Originality/value - This paper examines whether citizen participation has been influenced by the wider global reform process of new public management and modernisation, synonymous with developed countries and offers insight into a more inclusive form of decision making for other public services.
- Citizen participation
- Public administration
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Political Science and International Relations
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Public Administration