Fragmented Authoritarianism in China

Fragmented Authoritarianism in China

Mertha’s article on Fragmented authoritarianism in China published in The China Quarterly alludes that although China still is authoritarian, it is slowly becoming responsive to the views and opinions of the Chinese society especially with regards to policy making through fragmented authoritarianism framework. The writer explains that although democratization in China elections is not present, in their policy-making processes, the people have more influence which might work even more efficiently as compared to states that consider themselves democracies. Through the advocacy efforts of policy entrepreneurs

Agreeing with Mertha

To some extent, I agree with Mertha. China is an authoritarian government in that their leaders are not elected democratically, and even when democracy alludes, the leaders in the central government impose authorities at the local level by supporting their campaigns. However, the system is developing a lot of fissures over time which allows for policy entrepreneurs (Mertha). Policy entrepreneurs comprise majorly of three groups; the opponents in the government, the media, and other NGOs. The policy entrepreneurs are self-imposed peoples advocates who influence the policies the government tries to formulate.

Efficiency of Fragmented Authoritarianism

Consequently, China's system of fragmented authoritarianism, in my opinion, is even more efficient than democracies. Many democracies have failed their people, in that the elected leaders fail to represent them. Contrary, when the selected authorities are in their positions of influence, they fail to articulate the people’s desires and fail to make an impact and instead contribute to policies which harm the citizens at the grass root levels. The step towards fragmented authoritarianism is a very welcomed move to eliminate dictatorship in China. However, policy advocates overtime will attract a lot of parties which might pose a lot of challenges in making decisions soon as every advocate would want to influence a policy to protect their interests. Therefore, the Chinese government should work fast to ensure that it creates a system that controls the emergence of these policy entrepreneurs to a manageable size.

Works Cited

Mertha, Andrew. "Fragmented Authoritarianism 2.0”: Political Pluralization in the Chinese Policy Process." The China Quarterly

200 (2009): 995 - 1012. .

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