Citizen Participation at the Local Level in China and Canada

Andrew Sancton, Chen Zhenming

© 2014 - Routledge
Published November 13, 2014
Reference - 319 Pages - 8 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781482228977 - CAT# K22603

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  • Provides local-level comparisons and lessons to be shared between the east and west
  • Examines how citizens voice their opinions, such as protests mobilized by social media
  • Covers land and resource use such as urban development, industrialization, and water source issues
  • Considers population shifts (rural migrants in China and immigrants in Canada) and urban/rural contrasts
  • Presents the work of leading scholars


What, if anything, is similar about citizen participation at the local level in Canada and China? The answer, of course, is politically sensitive. There are many in Canada who would claim that the question is absurd. How can there be meaningful citizen participation in a country where there are significant restrictions on political activity, including on the right to form organizations with political purposes? Presenting the work of leading scholars, Citizen Participation at the Local Level in China and Canada examines how citizens in each country participate at the local level.

The book examines the development of citizen participation in local governance in Canada and China respectively. It then covers the characteristics of political culture and climate on local participation, highlighting factors especially unique to urban poor, class migration, and aboriginal and immigrant populations. The chapters also explore means of protest, demonstration, and articulation of preference by populations and issues where citizen participation has effected change such as land use, housing, urban development, and resource sustainability.

The book includes case studies that compare Canadian and Chinese communities and extrapolate interesting policy-level changes at the local level based on citizen behavior and involvement. It underscores the similarities and differences in political participation in both countries and sets the stage for the steps in the citizen participation in both countries.