Village elections have been a much talked about subject both inside and outside China since the 1980s. Yet there is little agreement on the exact nature of these elections. The following study is an empirical effort to study peasants' participation in Chinese village elections. The key question asked in this study is What subjective factors motivate Chinese peasants to vote or not vote in village elections? The authors' main findings are that those who tended to vote in village elections were people with low levels of internal efficacy and democratic values, high levels of life satisfaction and interest in state and local public affairs, and that anti-corruption sentiment does not seem to play any role in village elections. Peasants with higher levels of internal efficacy and democratic orientation stayed away from village elections due to the institutional constraints on these elections. These findings call into question the competitiveness and democratic nature of Chinese village elections.
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