Public Goods and State-Society Relations: An Impact Study of China's Rural Stimulus

15 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2012 Last revised: 5 Jan 2013

See all articles by Ethan Michelson

Ethan Michelson

Maurer School of Law; Indiana University Bloomington, Department of Sociology

Date Written: February 25, 2011

Abstract

Evidence I present in this paper from two rural surveys — one conducted in 2002 and the other in 2010 — reflects a dramatic and positive turnaround in state-society relations in the Chinese countryside. Information villagers reported in the surveys reflect improvements in public goods provision, household economic conditions, and popular perceptions of the government in the wake of a pro-rural policy shift beginning in 2004 and heightened by China's 2008 economic stimulus plan. The surveys also suggest that public goods are an important reason why statesociety relations have improved. Public goods significantly enhanced villagers' perception that the government cares about their wellbeing. Although every level of government enjoyed a popularity boost from improvements in public goods provision, the greatest gains were made at local levels of the state. At the same time, however, we have reason to question the long-term sustainability of this positive trajectory. Lying beneath these positive trends are ominous signs of potential threats to state-society relations on the horizon.

Suggested Citation

Michelson, Ethan, Public Goods and State-Society Relations: An Impact Study of China's Rural Stimulus (February 25, 2011). Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 217, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2169306 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2169306

Ethan Michelson (Contact Author)

Maurer School of Law ( email )

211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
812-856-1521 (Phone)
812-855-0781 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.indiana.edu/~emsoc/

Indiana University Bloomington, Department of Sociology ( email )

Ballantine Hall
Bloomington, IN 47405

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
80
Abstract Views
497
rank
366,306
PlumX Metrics