Comments

This article covers an interesting concept of combining participatory budgeting with deliberative poll; giving even more input to citizens. The author provides an incredible in-depth analysis, with which it is difficult to find many issues at all. What is first noticeable is that the author makes sure to explain this deliberative participatory budgeting concisely in the summary, and goes into great detail to explain the process in the combined participant selection and deliberation section. This is necessary when the already multi-layered participatory budgeting is made more complex, by survey stage placed at the end of the process. The analysis section includes the interpretation that this has encouraged people to become more involved in and aware of political processes, which is a strong claim accompanied by the statistical evidence that the author provides. This article also notes the limits to the Puxing programme, with the understanding that no matter the impact on participants, because the turnout is low and skewed towards the older generation it severely impedes on how democratic any decisions reached are. One can spot a slight bias when the author concludes that, despite limitations which are common across many models of deliberation and consultation, this case implies that China deserves further exploration of measures of deliberation and citizen participation to enhance the citizen’s role in governance and reduce the control of the authority. This implies an ambition for more democratic governance of China, which is an entirely separate debate that should be avoided here. Furthermore, despite the great deal of history provided prior to the programme beginning, it may have been beneficial to include whether this is still underway or whether the idea was abandoned, because the authorities’ view on its successfulness also holds significant weight in determining its overall effectiveness.