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Research On The Transformation Of Government Functions Against The Background Of Coordinated Urban-rural Development

Posted on:2012-05-05Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:X X DuFull Text:PDF
GTID:1116330335467593Subject:Scientific Socialism and the international communist movement
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Government function transformation is never a phased proposition. Ever since the existence of the government, its functions change along with the development of economy and society. When we review government functions either from longitudinal historical perspective or from the idea of transverse comparison, it can be seen that each government function has its specific historical background and social needs. Currently, our country is at a crucial moment of coordinated urban-rural development. Government functions are bound to change in the process of elimination of dual economic structure of urban and rural areas and realization of coordinated development of urban and rural areas. The profound transformation involving many aspects will have a far-reaching impact on China's future development.The changes in our government functions are oriented to specific historical background and social needs. After the founding of new China, the establishment of integrated administrative system, stabilization of social order and recovery of economic development become the society's primary needs for the government functions. So, government functions are more embodied as political functions and managerial functions. After the reform and opening up, the emancipation of productive forces and the rapid development of market economy are considered as the social needs for government functions. Hence, government functions are more embodied as economic construction function. After thirty years of rapid development, with the building of market economy, social stratification and diversified interests pattern comes into beings and. However, the issues of agriculture, farmers and rural areas and the issue of dual economic structure of urban and rural areas restricts the sustainable development of the country, forming the historical background of and objective demand for the transformation of existing government functions. Although the relationship between urban and the rural areas has developed to a stage where the rural areas support the urban areas; agriculture supports industry in the urban areas to spur the economic growth in rural areas and; industry nurtures agriculture. However, urban-rural dual structure has never changed fundamentally. So, how to best respond to the diversified interests demands, to reconcile the difference of various kinds of interest, to crack the urban-rural dual structure and thus to solve the issues of agriculture, farmers and rural areas that have long bedeviled the development of China becomes the starting point of current transformation of government functions.Scholars'studies have long focused on the question as to what role the government should play. The Central Government specified the objective of government function transformation on the basis of adequate discussion, namely enhancing service consciousness and public service function and establishing a law-abiding, good-faith, high-efficiency and accountable government under the rule of law. After setting such an objective, we can't help think over how to transform government functions in the practice and enable the government to give a full to its functions against the macroscopic background of pushing forward the coordinated development of urban and rural areas. The author studied the government function transformation against the background of coordinated urban-rural development and expected to find the path and means for such transformation along the train of thought, namely what the government is supposed to do, what it did in the practice, are there any problems and how to solve these problem.Theoretically, apart from enforcement of law representing the will of the people, the government's functions are limited to maintain social stability, safeguard state security and safeguard public interests. However, besides these functions, the government has strong leading function and impetus function in the real world. The government can not only maintain social and economic order, but also push forward the society to move towards the established goal through macro means such as policies and taxation. So, to push forward the coordinated development of the society, the government needs to transform its functions and give a full play to its leading function and impetus function. As far as the government function transformation is concerned, the fundamental objective of government function transformation is to be "limited—effective-beneficial-harmonious". "Limited" refers to adjusting the positioning of the government under the shadow of administration to enable the government to drop out from the field subject to the spontaneous regulation of the market and society. "Effective" requires specifying that the government, not equal to the subject of market should focus on providing high-efficient policy support and public service. "Beneficial" requires the government to set up the administrative ideology of "people first" and make its order comply with the common aspiration of the people. "Harmonious" is the highest requirement on the purpose of government functions. The key to achieve "harmony" is to enhance the democracy and publicity of policy making and ensure that all the interest subjects have a chance to participate in the policy making to eliminate the contradiction arising from social development in the process of policy making of the government.In terms of the development of government functions, the reform of government institutions has taken place eight times since the founding of new China. It can be seen from reviewing the social environment of these reforms that as the relationship between urban and rural areas developed from the state of "rural area supporting urban area", "rural areas enriching urban areas" and "urban areas driving rural areas" to coordinated urban-rural development, government functions began to focus on social public service rather than political development or social development. In the process of development, government function transformation made great achievements. Firstly, modern administrative concept is integrated into government functions. Under the influence of new public management movement, our government shifted the administrative mode of taking on the all things to attract the public to participate in governance in the interactive of the government and the public and encourage social force, including citizens and non-government organizations to play a part in the urban and rural development. Secondly, government operating system became more and more scientific. Since the reform and opening up, the government focused on the reform of market economic system and actively promoted innovation in terms of the positioning of government functions, government intervention mode, the relationship between superior government and subordinate government, department authority coordination and grass-roots democracy management to enhance the overall efficiency of the government. Thirdly, taking into consideration of the existing problems in the social development, the government idea of public service was set up. The government realized that public service function was an effective guarantee for balanced social development and sustainable economic growth and constantly adjusted financial expenditures and increased service expenditures such as social security against the background of the status quo of vulnerable public service. Consequently, these actions brought about significant social benefits. However, although great achievement has been made in terms of government function transformation, the government faces huge challenges when it comes to achieve effective performance of government functions against the background of urban-rural dual structure. Challenges include:the existence of the government public service system based on the urban-rural dual structure leads to the inequality of development right of residents in urban and rural areas; the administrative power and financial power of grass-roots government get out of balance, restricting the implementation of service functions and causes the failure of public service in meeting the social needs of rapid development in rural areas; lack of grass-roots democracy, especially institutional insufficiency in terms of democratic decision-making, democratic finance, democratic supervision, giving rise to the poor administrative efficiency of grass-roots government and undermining the government's administrative capacity.Well, then, how to break through dilemma of government functions?To radically transform government functions and make it meet the social needs of coordinated urban-rural development, we first need to examine the relationship between the government and farmers. It can be seen, from reviewing the evolution of the relationship between the government and farmers since the founding of new China, that their relationship reflects the development relationship between urban areas and rural areas to some extent. To what degree the farmers play their role as subject directly determines the level of development of rural society. During studying the time of the construction of urban and rural integration in Xinxiang City, we found that correctly handling the relationship between the government and farmers is the logical starting point for transforming government functions and stimulating the coordinated development of urban and rural areas. In such process, the key is to give a full role to the integration and interaction function of the government. "Integration" includes two aspects:firstly, optimize the dominant function of the government, changing from "governance" to "service" and pushing forward the coordinated urban-rural development through policy support, macroscopic guide and service assurance; secondly, upgrade the role of farmers as subject. Specifying the status of farmers as decision-making subject, construction subject and interest subject, is indispensable to the performance of subjective initiative of farmers and integration of rural resources for development. "Interaction" refers to government function mode based on participatory governance, incorporating the will of farmers into the policy making of the government. It is designed to integrate the dominant function of the government and the role of farmers as subject by improving the inclusiveness and democracy of policy making so as to realize the cooperation and interaction of the both in the process of social governance and ultimately develop a joint force to push forward the coordinated development of urban and rural areas.For the concrete path for government function transformation against the background of coordinated urban-rural development, how to overcome the challenges in the practice of government function transformation?Firstly, reshape the administrative ideology of the government and build "service-oriented government". New public management theory argues that government functions ought to consciously meet social need in terms of the purpose of the formation of the government. That is to say, social need is the foundation of existence of government functions. The government shall arrange its functions according to social need and provide necessary service for social development. The building of service-oriented government caters to the need of social governance paradigm and grass-root democratic management and the inevitable demand of coordinated urban-rural development. In the process building service-oriented government, first we need to set up correct management idea and adhere to basic principle of people first and administration according to the law; second, we need to transform government functions and constantly strengthen the function of providing public products and service to maintain a good social order for social and economic development; last but not least, we need to popularize an effective government service mode, such as community-oriented service and e-government service mode to prevent government's public service from becoming a mere formality by human-care services for the convenience of the public. Secondly, set up the target of government service and build a government enriching the people. To realize national development, we first need to safeguard the interests of citizens. Only when the act of the government embodies the will of the public, protect the interests of the public and promote the development of the public can national development be achieved. The government needs to explore the way to enrich the people so as to realize the coordinated urban-rural development against the background of increasingly widening gap between urban and rural areas as well as shortage of financial support and aid for agriculture and social security expenditure; in the first place, the government shall seek after a sustained mechanism that can increase the income of farmers to promote the rapid income growth of farmers. In the second place, the government shall highlight the modern idea of democracy and rule of law, enhance cultural and ideological progress in rural areas and promote the ideological modernization of farmers; last but not least, the government shall delegate power appropriately, cultivate the development of civic society and establish a system to supply public products at different level for meeting the needs of urban and rural areas.Thirdly, upgrade the administrative capacity of the government and build a promise government. Upgrading the administrative capacity of the government is of great importance to the transformation of government functions in the coordinated urban-rural development. Currently, the inadequate administrative capacity of local government is outstandingly manifested in the poor performance of public service, low efficiency of administrative decision making and insufficient credibility. Some of these problems can be ascribed to the fault of local government, while the others may be attributable to the barriers between central government and local government, the competition between the governments at the same level and the retarded civic society that restrict the upgrading of the administrative capacity of local government. We needs to build a promising government and upgrade the administrative performance of the government to deal with the existing problems from the following three aspects:firstly, optimize the external relationship of local government and provide effective way and system arrangements for the public to participate in governance; secondly, optimize the internal relationship of local government and improve the distribution of financial power and administrative power possessed by central government and local government; finally, enhance the role of the third force in the exertion of the functions of local government to play a positive role in filling in the gaps in government functions, improving the efficiency of government functions and optimizing political ecology.Fourthly, safeguard the fairness of the government in the aspect of administration and build a balanced government. The concept of equilibrium government is derived from the idea of equal civil rights. Due to the limit of regions and level of economic development, the public services provided by our government are out of balance. The government is used to providing different public service for different citizenship, which is an outstanding manifestation of unfair civil rights. To solve the problems hampering the coordinated development of urban and rural areas, the unfair factors in administrative service shall be eliminated. Firstly, the policy arrangements in the context of the dual economic structure of urban and rural areas shall be changed through legislation to eliminate the difference in citizenship and realize equal civil rights; secondly, the administration system of the government needs to be improved to specify the public service responsibilities of the government at all levels and realize the equalization of basic public service as soon as possible; last, the public product supply mechanism of local government needs to be reshaped so as to enable grass-roots government to play an active role in advancing the development of rural area, gradually relieve grass-roots financial pressure according to the policy of "giving more, taking less and loosening control" and provide necessary financial support for local government to actively exert service function.
Keywords/Search Tags:coordinated urban-rural development, government, functions
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