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Literature Review of Studies on the Methodology of China’s Reform


By Wei Jianing, Li Wenzhao & Zhao Weixin, Research Team on “Methodology of Reform” , Research Department of Macro-Economy of DRC

Research Report [Special Issue No.46 (Total 1449), 2015] 2015-12-25

Abstract: Methodology is an instrumental system aimed at solving problems. It provides general methods for people to get to know things and resolve problems, or it offers relevantmeans and approaches for observing things and tackling problems. The methodology of reform is defined in both a narrow sense and a broad sense. The methodology of reform in a broad sense refers to a set of systematic and guiding methods for “who should promote reform, how to understand reform, and how to promote reform”. Existing studies on the methodology of China’s reform focus largely on analyzing specific approaches of reform or methodologies of reform in a particular field. Few systematic and comprehensive research findings have been presented. This report systematically summarizes findings on the methodology of China’s reform since 1980s. On the whole, there are three relevant perspectives: “Ontology: Who should promote reform”, “Epistemology: How to understand reform”, and “Methodology: How to promote reform”. Each of these different perspectives has representative comments, arguments, and conclusions.

Key words: reform, methodology, ontology, epistemology