Cho addresses two key questions in this comprehensive study of local people's congresses at both provincial and county levels. First, what kinds of roles did Chinese local legislatures actually perform in local politics, and to what degree? Second, how have Chinese local legislatures become main political forces, and what kinds of development strategies have they employed, along with the Chinese Communist Party and governments? Dismissing the outdated conclusion that Chinese local legislatures are thing but 'rubber stamps', Cho's in-depth research in Shanghai, Guangdong, and Tianjin areas proves that they have strengthened lawmaking and supervisory roles and thereby become important political forces in local politics. Moreover, these legislatures have employed very sophisticated development strategies targeting different objectives: getting the support of the party, cooperating with governments, and aggressively engaging in courts.
Young Nam Cho is an associate professor of the Graduate School of International Studies at Seoul National University. He was a visiting Fellow of the Center for Contemporary Chinese Studies at Peking University (1997-1998), visiting scholar in the Department of Political Science at Nankai University in Tianjin (2001-2002), and visiting scholar of Harvard-Yenching Institute (2006-2007). His research focuses on the Chinese legislative system, rule of law, state-society relations, and elite politics. He has published three books in Korean and has written articles in China Quarterly, Asian Survey, Issues & Studies, Asian Perspective, Development and Society, and Korean Journal of Defense Analysis. Dr Cho graduated from the Department of East Asian History at Seoul National University in 1989. He received an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Seoul National University in 1996 and 1999, respectively.