Interjurisdictional Competition and Cooperation in China: An Analysis of Sources and Policy Interventions at the County Level


The field of Chinese politics lacks a theory to explain why localities in China sometimes choose the path of competition—frequently with undesirable consequences for local residents—and other times opt for cooperation. While the dominant frame for analysing interjurisdictional relations, political tournament theory, lends partial insight into the dynamics of competition, the focus on just one end of the continuum neglects a more complex reality. The proposed research project represents a first step toward a broad theory of interjurisdictional relations in China. Using mixed methods analysis, the project will develop and apply an analytical framework to explain variation in local interjurisdictional relations in contemporary China ranging from competitive to cooperative behaviour in the two selected policy fields of economics and environment. We will also analyze the effectiveness of current policy interventions to stem harmful forms of competition and promote interjurisdictional cooperation on critical issues such as sustainable ecosystem management. The results of our empirical analysis will then serve as the basis on which to develop an encompassing theory of interjurisdictional relations in China. Beyond contributing to a hot topic in the study of Chinese politics, this project will shed light on a problem of real-world importance that is at the crux of China’s difficult move off the path of growth-at-all-costs toward a green transformation.


Principal Investigators
Eaton, Sarah Prof. Dr. (Details) (Transregional Studies of China)

Duration of Project
Start date: 02/2020
End date: 01/2023

Research Areas
Asian Studies, Political Science

Research Areas
China, Policy Analysis

Last updated on 2021-04-01 at 17:52