Urban governance and civil society
The state, both central and local, remains strong, even under increasing globalization and marketization. But its function and scope have shifted. Because China’s political system remains centralized, there continue to be direct political, administrative, and fiscal relationships between the central government and provincial and local governments. Notwithstanding, there has been a steady decentralization of administrative and fiscal powers from central to local levels. Today, municipal governments increasingly resemble local developmental states: more interested in economic growth than ideological pursuits.