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Enhanced studies needed for public administration

Author  :  WEI SIYU     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2021-07-16

A forum centering on the centennial of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the disciplinary development of public administration was recently held in Beijing. Scholars exchanged views on promoting the disciplinary construction of public management and the transformation of modern government functions.

“The discipline of public administration has always been closely linked to, and gone in the same direction with, the CPC’s national governance practice,” said Liu Wei, president of Renmin University of China.

Research guidelines

According to Wei Liqun, former secretary of the Party committee of the National Academy of Governance, developing socialist public management discipline with Chinese characteristics requires adhering to six principles: following the guidance of Marxism, pursuing people-centered research orientations, improving the public governance system with Chinese characteristics, reinforcing problem-oriented awareness based on Chinese practice, broadening research horizons and methods, and strengthening the cultivation of talent teams.

In order to help modernize the national governance system and governance capabilities, the disciplinary construction of public management should infuse the wisdom of Chinese civilization concerning national governance, and examine major national governance issues based on national conditions, the large picture, and laws of development, forging an academic system of public governance with Chinese characteristics and world-class standards, suggested Jiang Xiaojuan, dean of the School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University.

Yang Kaifeng, executive dean of the School of Public Administration and Policy at Renmin University of China, stated that seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation is the Party’s original aspiration, and the mass line is the most basic line of the CPC, so public management studies should proceed with the people to more accurately understand public natures. Meanwhile, the history and the victory of the CPC are also the history and the victory of adapting Marxism to the Chinese context, which means public management research should continue with Marxist methodology.

Based on Chinese practice

Ding Huang, director of the Center for Public Policy Studies at Wuhan University, noted that the disciplinary development of public administration has benefited from the Party’s reform and opening up policy, and it has positively interacted with the cause of reform and opening up as well as the socialist modernization drive. Efforts are needed in building the discourse system of public management based on Chinese practice, conducting comparative research, and telling the Chinese story of public management well.

Yan Jirong, dean of the School of Government at Peking University, affirmed the major contributions of political science and public administration studies to national development. Reform and opening up are the key to the success of China’s modernization, which reminds public management researchers to focus more on the Party’s practice and make more theoretical contributions.

Government function studies

The process of transforming government functions over the past four decades includes the two aspects of functional optimization and responsibility change, while building a service-oriented government is a new stage of shifting government functions, said Zhu Guanglei, former vice president of Nankai University.

Sha Yongzhong, vice president of Lanzhou University, analyzed the development opportunities and disciplinary transformation of public management in an era of digital and intelligent empowerment. As a typical comprehensive field, the disciplinary transformation of public management requires a broader vision, absorbing nutrients from contemporary science and technology and from the knowledge and research methods of various disciplines. Surrounded by the new generation of digital and intelligent environments, public administration scholars should seize the valuable opportunities brought about by such emerging technologies as big data and artificial intelligence. These new technologies can make up for the limitations and deficiencies of traditional public management research methods, spurring innovation in public management research methods.

“Public governance will face severe challenges in the field of scientific and technological innovation, making a thorough investigation into past policies necessary,” added Xue Lan, dean of the Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University.

Dong Keyong, former dean of the School of Public Administration and Policy at Renmin University of China, summarized the achievements and experience of China’s social security development over the past century. The development of social security should be in line with the needs of the people and the level of economic development, and combine the policy formulation of middle-level and top-level design with scattered pilot projects, while fully leveraging the supporting role of public finance.

“Delving into the CPC’s centennial history and land policies can offer reference for public management studies,” said Qu Futian, director of the Institute of Chinese Resources, Environment and Development at Nanjing Agricultural University.

Editor: Yu Hui

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