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Why Do People Vote in Semicompetitive Elections in China?

Jie Chen and Yang Zhong
The Journal of Politics
Vol. 64, No. 1 (Feb., 2002), pp. 178-197
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2691670
Page Count: 20
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Why Do People Vote in Semicompetitive Elections in China?
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Abstract

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, one of the post-Mao electoral reforms was semicompetitive elections, including those for local people's congresses. A better understanding of voters' subjective motivations in these elections is critical for explaining and predicting the significant effects of the elections on sociopolitical development in rapidly changing Chinese society. Using survey data collected in Beijing, China, in 1995, we reexamine arguments and findings about voters' subjective motivations reported by Shi (1999a). Contrary to Shi's arguments and findings, we find that people with stronger democratic orientation and a keener sense of internal efficacy are less likely to vote in these semicompetitive elections, while those who are identified with the regime and have affective attachments to the political authority are more likely to vote in the elections. In this article, we present the differences between our arguments and findings and Shi's. Then we draw some important political and theoretical implications from these differences.

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