How are bureaucrats controlled by their superiors in the Chinese political system? “Leading small groups” are among the most important mechanisms for integrating the interests and opinions of various government and Party departments so that superiors can ensure that their policies are implemented. This article analyzes the roles of the three main actors in the leading small groups: group leaders, the heads of the lead departments, and the office directors. We discuss how these individuals operate through formal institutional approaches and informal political channels. Group politics of this kind is moving China’s decision-making process toward “integrated fragmentation.” We conclude that compared with previous Chinese regimes, Xi Jinping is making greater use of leading small groups to promote further reforms and to practice individualized centralization.
Tsai, W. H., & Zhou, W. (2019). Integrated fragmentation and the role of leading small groups in chinese politics. China Journal, 82(1), 1–22. https://doi.org/10.1086/700670