This article shows that Chinese villagers feel a higher level of political efficacy after their first free and fair village election because they can now remove unresponsive cadres. It concludes that enhanced efficacy may lead to more active participation, which in turn may affect political restructuring in Chinese villages.
Lianjiang Li is Associate Professor at the Department of Government and International Studies of Hong Kong Baptist University. For financial support, he would like to thank the Asia Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong Baptist University. He would also like to acknowledge a grant from the Research and Writing Initiative of the Program on Global Security and Sustainability of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. For helpful comments on earlier drafts, he thanks Kevin O’Brien, John Kennedy, Hsin-chi Kuan, Linda Chelan Li, Emerson Niou, Hishida Masaharu, Tangbiao Xiao, and an anonymous referee.
Chinese translation by HU Kang and HU Rong appears in Xu Yong and Xu Zengyang (eds.), 《乡土民主的成长：村民自治研究20年集萃》 (The Growth of Rural Democracy: A Selection of Papers on Villagers’ Self-government Published in the last 20 years) (Wuhan: Huazhong Normal University Press, 2006), pp. 249-67