Local Government Reform in China in the Past Ten Years: An Evaluation based on the Chinese Local Governance Innovation Awards

Abstract: This paper discusses several issues regarding innovations in Chinese local governments in the past 10 years, through analyzing past applications of the Chinese Local Governance Innovations Awards since its establishment, as well as complementary surveys. These issues include the current state, distribution, types, motivations, sustainability and impacts of local governance innovations. The research concludes that local innovations must be evaluated and analyzed against the backdrop of social and political development in China. Most innovations are incident-driven, and are enrichments and improvements to the existing system. However, innovations are distributed at different levels of the administration as well as at different departments, thus, its impact on the overall system may be weakened due to the conflicts among different levels of administration, or among different departments.