25 Pages

Consultative meetings

WithDragan Pavlićević

This chapter examines the rationale behind the emergence of Consultative Meetings in the townships under Wenling City and the development of this mechanism since its introduction. It is argued that the trend of institutionalisation and the broadening application of Consultative Meetings is a consequence of the state-building orientation of the CCP: public participation through Consultative Meetings is recognised for its ability to aid the local policy-making process and enhance the capacity of the local party-state. The chapter reveals that the practice of Consultative Meetings originated from the recognition that the state lacked the capacity to mobilise the local population in order to successfully implement policies. The use of this mechanism was later broadened with the goal of increasing the capacity of the state to design and implement effective governing strategies and solutions in various domains of governance by calibrating them based on popular input. In turn, these are met with higher levels of popular acceptance and are less likely to face obstacles. As such, Consultative Meetings contribute to the party’s state building agenda by ensuring a greater legitimacy of policies and improving the efficacy of their implementation.