Consultation and deliberation in China: The making of Chinas health-care reform

Yoel Kornreich*, Ilan Vertinsky, Pitman B. Potter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In April 2009, the Chinese government unveiled a plan for a comprehensive overhaul of the country's medical system. This dramatic moment was preceded by public debate, as well as government introduction of forums for public participation, which allowed diverse social groups to provide feedback on the policymaking process. Tracing the origins and outcome of the debate and public participation, we ask whether this debate and participation go beyond consultation and could be regarded as deliberation. Finally, we attempt to evaluate whether this process could precipitate a democratic transition. We contend that the government introduced participatory forums for the purpose of conducting consultation, yet the design of the arenas for consultation created some space for limited deliberation. We conclude that this process is not likely to produce a democratic transition, but argue that it may contribute to better governance, as consultation may generate popular expectations for inclusion and responsiveness. copyright

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-203
Number of pages28
JournalChina Journal
Issue number68
StatePublished - Jul 2012


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