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"Crafting" China’s Energy Policy

Puce noire Toward an Inclusive Approach to Policymaking , Alex Payette

KEYWORDS: Chinese policymaking; fragmented authoritarianism; Chinese
bureaucratic politics; collusive behavior; Chinese energy policy.

Drawing upon the framework of "fragmented authoritarianism," this
article attempts to formalize existing bureaucratic behaviors in the Chinese political apparatus through the inclusion of the logic of "collusive behavior" amongst the various bureaucratic levels. Policy crafting is posited as a more comprehensive notion to describe Chinese energy policymaking. Additionally, policy crafting addresses center-local internal dynamics from a new angle to better grasp the domestic conditions under which energy policy is "crafted" and implemented throughout China’s bureaucratic apparatus. The main contributions of this article are theoretical and analytical. It begins by defining policy crafting and noting the explicative limits of the existing approaches to China’s "informal" bureaucratic politics. The article then develops a theoretical reappraisal of the fragmented authoritarianism model in order to push it forward and supplement it with "collusive behavior" to form a new analytical tool. It concludes with a description of the policy elaboration process, which encompasses the translation, drafting, and formulation of China’s energy policy. In addressing how energy policy is "made" in China, the article supplements current approaches to Chinese policymaking by elucidating the complexity of the policy elaboration process; that is, from its extensive bargaining and consensus-building dynamics to its inherent incremental nature and bureaucratic resistance.

Issues & Studies© 47, no. 3 (September 2011): 141-175.

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