From Decentralised Developmental State towards Authoritarian Regulatory State: A Case Study on Drug Safety Regulation in China

By Liu, Peng | China: An International Journal, March 2010 | Go to article overview

From Decentralised Developmental State towards Authoritarian Regulatory State: A Case Study on Drug Safety Regulation in China


Liu, Peng, China: An International Journal


Introduction

Students of new comparative political economy have summarised four ideal models of political and economic governance for human society which include private ordering, independent judges, a regulatory state and state ownership. Among them, the mode of regulatory state can be regarded as an eclectic way to reduce loss as a result of market disorder by means of more threats sourced from state dictatorship. (1 By the 1980s, the mode of regulatory state was adopted by only the United States, based mainly on a laissez-faire economic infrastructure. With the rising tide of privatisation and approach of modern risk society, three different kinds of states have carried out regulatory reforms to overcome market failure and societal risk since the 1980s: positive states in European Union countries,2 developmental states in East Asia and Latin America3 and command states in the former Soviet Union and East European countries. (4 Interestingly, if we draw a continuum taking governmental control and market function as its two extremes (see Figure 1), we can infer a few things. Although regulatory state governance systems were already established in various countries, they differ from each other due to their different starting points, management styles and mechanisms.5

However, can the above taxonomy cover the whole transition process to regulatory state for all countries? The answer may be "no" and China's regulatory reform is an exception. Since the mid-1990s, Chinese communist leaders have implemented a series of regulatory reform policies such as government-business separation, abolition of administrative monopolisation, establishment of independent regulatory agencies and rebuilding of a vertical management system to enhance the traditional Leninist state's capability for taming the market economy. Meanwhile, China's historical starting point for the building of a regulatory state differs from all four. On the one hand, from 1949 to the end of the 1970s, China copied a Soviet-style command system to govern its economy and society, but the Chinese command system is more decentralised and localised in contrast to the former Soviet Union's. On the other hand, during the economic reform period since the end of the 1970s, the Chinese government has imitated Japanese- or Korean-style developmental state patterns to push and maintain its high-rate of economic growth. The Chinese developmental state is also unlike the Japanese or Korean model due to its unique decentralised socialist economy infrastructure. In other words, the origin of the Chinese regulatory state is also not identifiable with those four ideal types and should be categorised as a mixture of command state and developmental state.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

Therefore, the key research puzzle and question for this article is: as a long-established command state and decentralised developmental state, for what reasons has the Chinese government decided to implement regulatory reform policies and build a regulatory state in the mid-1990s? What kind of structural resistance factors will Chinese regulatory state-building face? What unique characteristics does the Chinese regulatory state possess?

This article attempts to offer a brief but solid explanation to all those questions by examining a typical case of social regulation: pharmaceutical regulation. As one of the earliest social regulation policies in developed countries' history, pharmaceutical or drug safety regulation is a typical case for risk regulation in industrialised society to protect public health effectively. (6) Also, in China's regulatory reform movement, pharmaceutical regulation reform has become one of the most advanced fields. Since 1998, the central government pharmaceutical regulatory body, the State Drug Administration (SDA), has wrested all drug safety regulation powers from other related agencies and provincial authorities. Meanwhile, most state pharmaceutical companies have been separated from the SDA and a third-party regulation regime has been effectively established. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

From Decentralised Developmental State towards Authoritarian Regulatory State: A Case Study on Drug Safety Regulation in China
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.