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An Interview on Innovations in Social Governance: The Wuxi Experiment

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Editor’s Notes Professor Wang Ming, Director of the NGO Research Center of the School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University led a team to conduct field research in Wuxi County, Chongqing City, in early August, 2011. The team discovered several innovations implemented in the local social governance. First, there is the “Lehe Homeland”, a community building model that stimulates the initiative of grassroots citizens and enthusiasm for participation in local affairs by setting up the Lehe Mutual Support Group as a platform for mutual communication and support between urban and rural populations. Second, there is the “general mass work” mechanism. A Mass Work Department (群工部) was set up by the county party committee as a liaison between the party committee and government organizations with horizontal coordination and supervision functions to engage in social governance from the mass work. Third, a “grid-style management” scheme was implemented. This refers to a comprehensive, service-oriented grid-style administrative system that meets both rural and urban demands on public services, and serves the purpose of building a service-oriented government. Fourth, different participants including the village governing committee, village party committee, Lehe Mutual Support Group, departments included in the grid-style system, NGOs, the Mass Work Department, etc., were brought together under a “joint council” system to hold meetings on a regular basis for the purpose of communication and cooperation. These new features in Wuxi’s social governance experiment intrigued Professor Wang Ming so much that he invited Zheng Xiangdong (郑向东), Party Secretary of Wuxi County, and Liao Xiaoyi (廖晓义), founder of Global Village of Beijing to Tsinghua University in mid-November for a public dialogue on the practice of and experiences with Wuxi’s innovative social governance experiments, using the example of community building at Lehe Homeland. The following is the edited transcript of the dialogue.

Affiliations: 1: NGO Research Center, School of Public Policy, Tsinghua University


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