Understanding intra-governmental collaboration and governmental reorganisations in China’s local food safety regulation from 2013 to 2019
Item statusRestricted Access
Embargo end date16/03/2023
Intra-governmental collaboration is considered in the current literature to be one of the principle reasons for China’s food safety problems. There are two gaps in the existing studies of intra-governmental collaboration in China’s local food safety regulation. First, regarding the factors which affect collaboration, existing studies focus on departmental interests and unclear responsibilities, which is insufficient to explain collaborative performance. Second, regarding the governmental reorganisations to improve collaboration, existing studies fail to provide an appropriate assessment. Some significant reform measures are also ignored by existing studies. Based on interview data collected during two field trips and other obtained documents, in this thesis I propose a collaboration analysis model to explain collaborative performance through two factors. First, the collaborative context, including the bureaucratic context and the regulatory context, which determines the initial status of officials’ willingness to cooperate and provides the framework for collaborative networks. Second, coordinators implement strategies to enhance officials’ willingness to work together and construct collaborative networks. Problems in intra-governmental cooperation can thus be explained as coordinators failing to motivate other participants and operating effective collaborative networks in the situation framed by the collaborative context. The collaboration analysis model is based on the analysis of three types of intra-governmental collaboration in China’s local food safety regulation: collaboration between multiple government agencies; collaboration between the leading regulatory agencies, local government and local Party Committee; and collaboration within the leading regulatory agencies between different vertical levels. The collaboration analysis model provides insights to understand governmental reorganisations. I recognise the effectiveness of the establishment of the Food Safety Committee and argue that departmental consolidations in 2013 and 2018 did not lead to improvements in regulatory performance.