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The Nu River Campaign and Changes in Governmental Agenda-Setting

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image of The China Nonprofit Review

This article uses the case of the Nu River campaign, under way from 1999 to the present, to shed light on changing models of government agenda-setting in China. A time serial comparison is employed: the issues that emerged at two different times were the same while the agenda-setting models employed were completely different. In 1999 the issue made its way onto the formal agenda behind closed doors, nontransparently; in 2003, however, the same issue received a high degree of public interest and participation. Comparative analysis yields three conclusions: (1) divergence of the departmental interests may lead to an expansion of the public’s role in agenda-setting; (2) outside groups, like environmental NGOs, are playing a fundamental role in public participation; (3) traditional, elite-centered politics in China are changing slowly but surely.

Affiliations: 1: Zheng Qi, Ph.D. candidate, School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University


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