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The Institutional Analysis Of China's Rural Irrigation Management

Posted on:2006-04-17Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:J J JiangFull Text:PDF
GTID:1116360155460701Subject:Administrative Management
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China's irrigation infrastructures have been dilapidated after a long period of working, most of which were built from the 1950s to 1970s when China experienced a large scale political movement. Three problems, the lack of water, the wasting of water and the deterioration of environment, interwove to form a bottleneck of the sustainable development of agriculture in China. There were a series of institution changes since the establishment of the People's Republic of China, from the centralized administration to the privatization of small scale irrigation infrastructures to the water market, then to the Participatory Irrigation Management. In fact, the institution change is a process of reconstructing the relationship among the government, the market and the society. Focusing on such a relationship, I try to explain why the irrigation infrastructures built by the central government have widely been inefficient. I am also seeking the path to the sustainable utilization of the irrigation infrastructures and the water resources. By combining the rational choice institutionalism, the game theory and the historic institutionalism, I formed a new framework as follow, (1) the interaction between the institution and the individual, (2) the type of the goods, (3) the institution change, (4) both the function and the limitation of the government, (5) the impact of the social capital on self-governance.At the beginning of the establishment of the People's Republic of China, a wave of building irrigation infrastructures swept all over China. During the Great Leap Forward, the wave reached the summit. On the whole, the People's Commune is inefficient, however, it effectively solved the problem of "free riding" by the power of political mobilization and the ideology. From 1978, China changed the policy on rural areas, and carried out the Family Contract Responsibility System all over the country, while the People's Commune was abrogated. Thus, the organizational foundation of the traditional supply model did not exist. The irrigation infrastructures still have to work, which was in contradiction with the Family Contract Responsibility System. From the 1980s to 1990s, the privatization of small scale irrigation infrastructure was widely carried out. But, how to define the property is a complicated process. There might be a series of difficulties such as the information asymmetry and the high cost, which probably lead the marketization based on the property to fail. So it is easy totrigger conflicts in the process of privatization. At the same time, the function, as well as the limitation, of the government were studied in this paper.With the scarcity of the water resources becoming more and more serious, the conflict between different regions increased. It is imperious to establish the water property. An effective water market depends on three important factors, namely the clear water property, the rational water price and the efficient management of the water property exchange. China must establish the system of the agriculture water property from three layers, (1) establishing the systematic water using indication in the field of the irrigation, (2) establishing the mechanism of compensation of water property transferring, (3) reforming the irrigation water price.With the support of the World Bank, China began to carry out the reform of Participatory Irrigation management (PIM), composed of the Water User Association (WUA) and the Water Supply Company (WSC). By making using of the game theory and the social capital theory, I deeply studied the dilemma when supplying and using the common pool resources. According to the repeated game theory, the participant may cooperate, but it is not inevitable. I introduce social capital into the repeated game theory and point out that the social capital in the rural community will not certainly lead to the self-governance, however, the social capital plays a very important role in the maintenance and consolidation of the self-governance. The theory of social capital corresponds to china's rural society, which has a variety of sources of social capital such as the clan, the social group and the religious belief and the network of the human relations.Finally, I made a case study, the Pishihang Irrigation District in Anhui province. Pishihang Irrigation District built during the Great Leap Forward was a typical example of the centralized supply model. With the rapid change of the institution environment in China's rural area, the traditional system of irrigation is facing great challenges. In 1997, the general bureau of the Pishihang Irrigation District began to carry out the reform of Participatory Irrigation Management on the Daxiang branch canal. To some extent, the reform was successful. But the reform of the four Chengnan Water User Associations have failed. My study indicates that the PIM will not be sustainable without social capital, the participatory enthusiasm or the cooperating consciousness. PIM must get adequate support from the government at the beginning of establishing the new institutions, or the PIM would fail.I drew five conclusions at the end of this paper, (1) From 1949 to now, the...
Keywords/Search Tags:irrigation, social capital, water property, Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM), Self-governance
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