ISBN 10: 1482228971 / ISBN 13: 9781482228977
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What, if anything, is similar about citizen participation at the local level in Canada and China? The answer, of course, is politically sensitive. There are many in Canada who would claim that the question is absurd. How can there be meaningful citizen participation in a country where there are significant restrictions on political activity, including on the right to form organizations with political purposes? Presenting the work of leading scholars, Citizen Participation at the Local Level in China and Canada examines how citizens in each country participate at the local level.

The book examines the development of citizen participation in local governance in Canada and China respectively. It then covers the characteristics of political culture and climate on local participation, highlighting factors especially unique to urban poor, class migration, and aboriginal and immigrant populations. The chapters also explore means of protest, demonstration, and articulation of preference by populations and issues where citizen participation has effected change such as land use, housing, urban development, and resource sustainability.

The book includes case studies that compare Canadian and Chinese communities and extrapolate interesting policy-level changes at the local level based on citizen behavior and involvement. It underscores the similarities and differences in political participation in both countries and sets the stage for the steps in the citizen participation in both countries.

About the Author:

Andrew Sancton, a native of Montreal, earned his honors BA from Bishop’s University and his doctoral degree in politics from Oxford University. Most of his academic career has been spent as a professor of political science at the University of Western Ontario in London. He was chair of his department from 2000 until 2005, and was for many years the director of its local government program, which offers an MPA degree designed for local government managers. He was an expert witness in both the Toronto and Montreal court cases that unsuccessfully challenged the municipal amalgamations in those cities. Dr. Sancton is perhaps best known among municipal activists for Merger Mania: The Assault on Local Government (published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in 2000). His 2008 book, The Limits of Boundaries: Why City-Regions Cannot be Self-Governing, was one of five books short-listed that year for the Donner Prize for the best Canadian book on public policy. Dr. Sancton’s latest book is the second edition of Canadian Local Government: An Urban Perspective (Toronto: Oxford University Canada, 2014).

Chen Zhenming, a native of Guangdong, China, earned his honors BA from Sun Yat-sen University, his MA from Wuhan University, and his PhD from Renmin University of China. At various times he has been a visiting scholar at Ateneo De Manila University, Cornell University, Brigham Young University, Harvard University, German University of Administrative Science in Speyer, and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Most of his academic career has been spent as a professor of political science and public administration at Xiamen University in China. Since 2005 he has been the Yangtze River Scholar Distinguished Professor, a designation granted by the Chinese Ministry of Education. He has been dean of the School of Public Affairs since 2003. Previously, he was vice dean of the law school (1998–2003), chair of the Political Science and Public Administration Department (1999–2003), and director of the education division of the graduate school (1995–1998). Dr. Chen’s research interests focus on public administration, public policy, and political theory. He has been in charge of six research projects funded by the National Natural (or Social) Science Foundations. He has won 20 national and provincial prizes for his excellent research and education, and has been named Outstanding Chinese Social Scientist by Chinese media. He has published eight academic books, including Understanding Public Affairs, and many academic papers and translations. Dr. Chen has also edited a series of volumes on various subjects, including public administration and public services, public administration and political science, and classics of public policy.

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