Edinburgh Research Explorer

Politics and Policy in China's Social Assistance Reform: Providing for the Poor?

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages192
ISBN (Electronic)9781474420136, 9781474420129
ISBN (Print)9781474420112, 9781474474665
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


An exploration of dibao – China’s minimum income guarantee.

Every day in the People’s Republic of China 70 million people receive help from the state through the minimum livelihood guarantee (dibao). What began as a reform in the city of Shanghai in the early 1990s is now a key component in the measures used by the Communist Party of China to maintain social stability and legitimacy. While scholars regularly discuss how effective dibao has been in alleviating poverty very little addresses what influenced its development. This book argues that in order to understand dibao we need to look at how the programme emerged and how it has developed in the years since. Drawing on newspaper articles, government reports and interviews with key officials and researchers, the book also addresses debate on the policy process in China as a whole.

-Addresses a significant gap in current publications on Chinese social policy in the reform era, namely studies of the dibao programme.
-Using fragmented authoritarianism as the main approach the text engages with topic of social assistance in China as well as bigger questions regarding the policy process in China.
-Uses extensive primary Chinese language sources including newspaper reports, government speeches, government reports, government circulars, and interviews with officials and researchers in China.

    Research areas

  • China, reform, social assistance, poverty, social policy

ID: 25054562