Reforming Politics or Refining Policies: A China Perspective

China has been demanding policymaking accountability since the late 1990s. By continuously reforming its policymaking procedure and establishing various “Americanized” mechanisms, China adopted procedures that are quite similar to the western democracies in administrative policymaking, such as participation, evaluation and transparency.
This paper characterizes China’s reform as an initiative to “democratize” China’s executive administrative decision-making in order to increase the social acceptance to the public policy. While this reform committed to make the administrative policymaking more inclusive, responsive and transparent, it did not change the institutional environment under which the administrative polices were made.
It concludes that a reformative agenda towards “administrative constitutionalism”—a political transition to put executive agencies under the control of constitutional order—will give the hope to advance the stagnant reform.