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Central-local relations in the post-employment benefit national context

Author: YangShanGe
Tutor: CaoPeiLin
School: Fudan University
Course: Chinese and foreign political system
Keywords: post-welfare state welfare state central-local relations local government local governance
CLC: D523
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2006
Downloads: 1082
Quote: 1
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Abstract


Central-local relations are affected not only by the game — relations between central governments and local governments, but also by vicissitude of economic configurations and variance of state and society greatly. Since the 1980s, welfare state in crisis began to transform towards post-welfare state and local government becomes the center of the reformation. The object of the reformation is to make local government a more effective and reactive engine of welfare state. Tidal wave of reformation of local government surged from British and last until today. The important motivation to restructure central-local relations is the form and crisis of welfare state and its transforming into post-welfare state of. Based on the above assuming, through the general theoretical analysis about welfare state, the dissertation use the theory of institutional change in new institutionalism to analyse respectively the adjustment to government role,decentralization and devolution occurring in British, France and Japan in the era of post-welfare state, trying to explore the new trends of local governance and central-local relations in post-welfare state.The form of welfare state caused all-sided intervene in society and economy from state and obtained wide attention. This makes central-local relations more closely and inter-dependant, imposing vital infections on central-local relations in 1900s and especially the middle of 1900s. However, excessive intervene from state led to serious crisis. Therefore, those primary western states begin transform from welfare state to post-welfare state. In the era of post-welfare state, welfare provides market and multiple main bodies; the function of community is regarded and enforced; the relations among state, welfare and market have a great change. Welfare functions are transferred from central government to local government, market or (and) society.In the middle of 1900s, lots of institutions having specific responsibilities had been in British local government. Local governance was characterized of multi-center. The dissertation analyzes the transform process of local governance from multi-center configuration to modern local government with single aim in British during Industrial Revolution. The research in the dissertation mainly focuses on the reformation of fast centralization and de-centralization of power in local government by Thatcher Government. The dissertation also discusses the important reformations about configuration of local government and the characters of local governance in Blair Government. The dissertation concludes that multi-centered local governance in British is not a fire-new thing and has history origin. Therefore, multi-centered local governance is more practicable in British, compared with France and Japan. The reason that central and local government separate in British before the come into being of welfare state is also analyzed. The dissertation further discusses the change that welfare state goes towards inter-separation of central-local government and emphatically analyzes the change of parliament as a mediate role in welfare state. Finally, the dissertation presents the challenge in central-local relationsconfronted by British in the era of post-welfare state.France is a traditionally centralized country and the centralization is ineradicable. Multi-participants in city governance did not occur until 1930s. The dissertation discusses the history of decentralization of local governments in France since the Revolution and analyzes the reason and result of the reformation in the decentralization of local governments. Because of the tradition of centralization, central-local relations in France are characterized of inter-mixture. The dissertation concludes that the system of centralized welfare state led to the crisis of highly centralized system in France. The possibility and measures in welfare reformation in France is discussed. The dissertation also attempts to analyze the adaptability of local governance in France and researches the adjustment of central-local relations in post-welfare state of France.As a subsequent developed country, Japan has many good experiences in the reformation of central-local relations. Firstly, the dissertation discusses the reformation since Meiji Reformation and the reformation in the period of occupying by American troop and believes that the history of transform of Japanese local government embodies the continuity of tradition. Secondly, the dissertation analyzes the great meaning of decentralization reformation of local government in Japan in the lately 1900s in the era of post-welfare state. Before the come into being of welfare state, central-local relations in Japan are in a vertical pattern. The come into being and crisis of welfare state impacts the central-local relations in Japan greatly. Finally, the dissertation examines the possibility of local governance in Japan and concludes that the reformation in Japan has the characters of both British and France.The dissertation mainly researches the central-local relations in the era of post-welfare state, attempting to break through traditional static analysis by utilizing the theory of institutional change in new institutionalism. The dissertation starts with the history of local government and tries to disclose the features of change of institution in the central-local relations of British, France and Japan and the different ideology following the change of institution. The research indicates that the change of the institutions in the central-local relations of the three countries are characterized of Path Dependency. But the reformation in 1980s clearly shows the feature of the Path Alternation. The research also discovers the interactions between welfare state and central-local relations. Different countries have diverse types of welfare state, so do the central-local relations. Welfare state could be centralized or decentralized. The impact on the central-local relations by the form of post-welfare state have common trends. However, as to how to govern post-welfare state, different countries could possibilly select diverse pattern.

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