Academic journal article Cross - Cultural Communication

An Analysis of Institutionalizing Petition System in China

Academic journal article Cross - Cultural Communication

An Analysis of Institutionalizing Petition System in China

Article excerpt


The petition system in China is heading toward institutionalization, the core of which is to solve the petition problem within the framework of law so as to make the petition processing further standardized and predictable. Currently, there is no guiding law in the field of petition in China, which is why the petition system is not unified in different systems and regions across the country; nondisclosure and informality make petition into a vicious circle, which destroyed the consistency of law. The above problems need to be solved through the institutionalization of the petition system, which can break through the predicaments in petition, and provide a good opportunity to change the "one project one discussion" mode.

Key Words: Petition; Institutionalization; The optimization of public policy


The petition is a highly concerned topic of government, academia and community in recent years. The existing petition situation of the country, the problems and causes of petition, and the solution of petition question have already been discussed by academic circles who raise a Babel of criticism of high perspicacity frequently, but their views differ greatly. In practice, to cope with and resolve the petition problem troubles the minds from the central to local governments at all levels, all of whom attach great importance to the petition problem. Countless response tactics and solutions have been adopted overtly and covertly, a lot of manpower, material and financial resources have been consumed, whereas the effect is not very satisfactory. So far, the petition is still an unsolved problem. There have been heated debates over the issue of petition among the government, academia and the civil society, but no consensus seems to have been reached yet. The author thinks that the petition will always be a difficult problem which China has to face during the transition period. The solutions can only alleviate the pressure, but they can not solve all problems. Besides, even if they can alleviate the pressure we cannot rely on the petition system itself. The overall advancement of the entire social system and concept is needed. Of course, this does not mean that the reform or consummation of the petition system is meaningless. On the contrary, setting a clear direction for the development of the petition system and making effort toward it is still the problem which government, academia and the civil society must face. The author takes the liberty of stating the humble opinion on this problem.


People are encouraged to think about the functional positioning and development direction of the petition problem in China. On this issue, there are many viewpoints in the academic field, but the author sums up mainly two kinds of typical viewpoints. One is that the current petition system should be abolished since it has strong "rule of man", which strays from the modem "rule of law"; the other is that the current petition system should not be abolished since it has played a "bottom relief' function at present, but it should be reformed toward institutionalization. If we analyze these two views in depth, we will find that they have two points in common: first, both of the two views believe that the current status of the petition system should not be maintained, it needs to be changed; secondly, both views think or at least don't deny that the current petition system lacks institutionalization. It will be in accordance with both views if the rule of law of petition system can be realized by reforming or system replacement.

Seeing from the practice of the petition system, the main problem it faces is that it is difficult for it to play the "pressure relief valve" effect in social contradiction due to the practice of "rule of man", which makes it carry too much function and cause indigestion or even obstruction. If it is not interfered, the petition system will collapse because of the overwhelming force; if it is canceled, then the function of the current petition system will be presented in another form, and practical problems can not be solved. …

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