Adjusting State Capacity: Administrative Reforms and Changing Regulatory Regimes
Administrative are amongst the most difficult endeavors for governments. In the time from 2013 to 2015 the Chinese leadership has made major leeway in reforming the administrative approval system and redefining the role of the state in regulating the economy and societal affairs. In his talk, Matthias Stepan is providing insights into his ongoing research on the reform of China's administrative approval system. He documents the massive quantitative reduction and delegation of administrative approval items, and presents the preliminary findings of his analysis. Stepan argues that the reforms of the Xi Jinping - Li Keqiang administration differ largely from the one of their predecessors both in scope and process. Yet, whether this new set-up is going to be efficient and functional, depends on the coordination of the activities between different actors, the success of capacity building and the adherence to the rule of law by regulatory agencies.
In order to put the developments in China in a more comparative context, Stepan provides the background of the challenges of administrative reforms more in general. He speaks about to latest reforms in Germany and other European countries, their goals and instruments applied.
Matthias Stepan is the deputy director of the research area of Politics, Society, and Media at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS). MERICS is an independent think tank located in Berlin. Stepan is a trained comparative public policy scholar. Prior to joining MERICS, he has been working as lecturer and researcher at the VU University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), and was involved in a number of Sino- European cooperation initiatives dealing with public sector reform. In his research, Stepan specializes in the reform of social security systems and questions of the role and functioning of the public sector more broadly.