Ballot Box China

Grassroots Democracy in the Final Major One Party State

Since 1988, China has undergone one of the largest, but least understood experiments in grassroots democracy. Across 600,000 villages in China, with almost a million elections, some three million officials have been elected. The Chinese government believes that this is a step towards “democracy with Chinese characteristics”. But to many involved in them, the elections have been mired by corruption, vote-rigging and cronyism. This book looks at the history of these elections, how they arose, what they have achieved and where they might be going, exploring the specific experience of elections by those who have taken part in them — the villagers in some of the most deprived areas of China.  —Zed Books


Kerry Brown
Zed Books
April 15, 2011

Kerry Brown is Head of the Asia Programme at Chatham House, London, and Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. He is author of The Purge of the Inner Mongolian People’s Party (2006); Struggling Giant: China in the 21st Century (2007); The Rise of the Dragon (2008); and Friends and Enemies: The Past, Present and Future of the Communist Party of China (2009). His book China 2020 is forthcoming. He is currently working on a political biography of Hu Jintao.