“Representation within Bounds: Politics and Policy in China’s National People’s Congress” – A Talk with Professor Rory Truex
Rory Truex: Assistant Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. His research uses quantitative analysis to assess the nature of representation and accountability in China's National People's Congress (NPC) system. His work has been published in the American Political Science Review, Comparative Political Studies, and other academic journals. He received his B.A. from Princeton in 2007 and his Ph.D. in political science from Yale in 2014. While an undergraduate, he helped established the Princeton in Asia Summer of Service program, an English immersion program in Jishou, Hunan modeled after Princeton in Beijing.
Professor Rory Truex ’07 from the East Asian Studies department gave another informative talk at the Center, where he presented his dissertation research. Using hard data, field interviews, and qualitative data analysis methods, Professor Truex produced findings that challenged the popular perception that China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) was an entirely ineffective organization that serves primarily as political theatre once a year. Applying a convergence test to survey results on public opinion of topical issues and NPC deputies’ proposal record, Professor Truex showed a strong correlation between the people’s wishes and deputy behavior, suggesting that the NPC is more responsive and accountable than commonly acknowledged. He also analyzed the reasons deputies are incentivized to perform their duty of “representing the will of the people”. At the same time, Professor Truex acknowledged that this form of representation is extremely limited and that the deputies’ loyalty to the Party has always stayed the priority. Experts present raised many insightful questions challenging Professor Truex’ findings and methodology in the spirit of academia. The talk was well received. Students from local universities as well as professionals from various backgrounds attended the talk.
Date: Thursday, July 16th, 2015
Location: Princeton China Center
Organizers: Princeton China Center, Princeton Alumni Association of Beijing