Understanding Chinese policy-making

Crawford School of Public Policy | Executive course


This course introduces participants to the policymaking architecture of the People’s Republic of China, including the formal and informal mechanisms through which policy is formulated, coordinated and implemented. Sessions examine the role of the Chinese Communist Party, centre-local relations, bureaucratic bargaining and coordination mechanisms and processes, and features of the system that have ensured the Party-state’s resilience through decades of profound social and economic change. The course also examines the major public policy challenges confronting the Chinese Communist Party and considers, in light of the November 2017 Party Congress, the likely social, political and economic directions that the Party will take in the coming years.

Course date: 
9.30am–4.30pm 24 October 2017
#132, Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU

$1,350 GST incl; Group discounts applicable.

Course overview

The course is divided into four sessions. The first two (morning) sessions examine China’s political system and the role of Party and state (dual structure) agencies in policy coordination. The second session examines institutional changes that have made the Chinese Party-state a sophisticated policy-making machine that presents its as a viable alternative to Western liberal democratic models.

The afternoon sessions consider the major public policy challenges confronting the Party today, including economic restructuring, environmental degradation, civil service integrity, land and agricultural modernization, social welfare, ethnic unrest and foreign policy (with a focus on the Belt and Road initiative), and the implications of policy responses for the region, including Australia.

Course convenor

Dr Ben Hillman

Dr. Ben Hillman is a specialist on Chinese politics and political change in Asia. He has lived in China for more than six years. His 2014 book Patronage and Power (Stanford University Press) examines how informal institutions contribute to policy coordination and regime stability.

Updated:  24 March 2017/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team