Urban social assistance in China: Reflecting changing urban development?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter will outline the development of China’s urban social assistance system through a discussion of the minimum livelihood guarantee system (MLG or dibao). The chapter will first outline the developmental stages the programme went through providing readers with a history of urban social assistance. This includes a brief discussion of descriptive statistics regarding the urban MLG. Second, it will discuss what dibao is and outline the underlying principles and design of the programme. This will highlight in particular that the urban MLG did not emerge as a poverty alleviation programme per se but is better understood as a social stability mechanism. Third, it will discuss commonly identified strengths and weaknesses of how dibao has functioned over the years. Fourth, the chapter will analyse the urban MLG through Stokers’ five propositions of governance. This indicates that while there are areas in which urban social assistance governance has changed there are a number of facets which remain consistent with established Chinese governance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook on Urban Development in China
EditorsThomas Johnson, Ray Yep, Jun Wang
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781786431639
ISBN (Print)9781786431622
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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