Consultative authoritarianism challenges existing conceptions of nondemocratic governance. Citizen participation channels are designed to improve policymaking and increase feelings of regime responsiveness, but how successful are these limited reforms in stemming pressure for broader change? The article develops a new theoretical lens to explain how common citizens perceive the introduction of partially liberalizing reforms and tests the implications using an original survey experiment of Chinese netizens. Respondents randomly exposed to the National People’s Congress’ (NPC) new online participation portals show greater satisfaction with the regime and feelings of government responsiveness, but these effects are limited to less educated, politically excluded citizens.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- National People’s Congress
- consultative authoritarianism
- social exchange theory
- survey experiment