Centre and Provinces: China 1978-93: Power as Non-Zero-Sum

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Centre and Provinces: China 1978-93 goes beyond the dominant state capacity paradigm to argue for an interactive model to explain the political relations between the central and provincial governments in contemporary China. The uni-dimensional, centrist perspective of the state capacity paradigm has failed to adequately explain the coexistence of central and provincial power, and to anticipate circumstances of change. In this book a hybrid rational-choice cum institutional approach highlights the mutual power of both the Centre and the provinces. each party, the Centre or the provinces, imposes structural constraints upon the other. Power is not a zero-sum game. The cases of Shanghai and Guangdong, important resourceful provinces under very different central policy contexts, contrast possible interactions between central policy and provincial choice. Conflicts amidst a context of mutual dependence necessitate compromise on both sides, and qualitative changes to centreprovince relations as a result may well have long-term implications for wider political processes.