Bedrosian Center Research Presentations: Terry Cooper

April 11, 2013
12:00pm to 1:00pm

The Bedrosian Center funds several grants for USC Price faculty research on governance issues. Preference for the awards is given to research focused on collaborative governance, relationships between governance and planning, and government accountability issues. As a condition of the grant, each principal investigator was asked to give a presentation of his or her findings. Today Terry Cooper and USC Price doctoral students Weijie Wang and Hui Li will present their results.

From subjects to citizens: How homeowners and local officials perceive homeowner’s roles in local governance in China

Terry Cooper, Professor

The Chinese people used to be subjects of the party-state under the planned economy. They did not have any political freedom or right to vote. All means of productions were owned publicly and average people had very limited property rights. With economic liberalization, great changes have taken place especially in people’s economic status. The establishment of property rights – which is an incentive that greatly stimulates economic growth – has produced much broader influences. Homeowners often have to organize themselves in order to protect their own property rights and fight against the infringements of unlawful developers or property management firms. They actively participate in organizing and managing homeowners’ associations which are rare examples of self-governing civic organizations in China. Homeowners’ participation in local governance may produce important influences. Empowered citizens may be more conscious of their political rights related to property rights, and thus may become important checks to the governments’ power and change local governance in China. This project will focus on homeowners’ participation in local governance in China. The main objectives are to explore how homeowners themselves and local government officials perceive homeowners’ roles in local governance, and to assess how participation influences the empowerment of homeowners.