Phase 1: Posing Real Questions
My inquiry project topic is village governance. Before I begin, I need to know where I am in terms of background information by putting down what I already know and where I learned this information.
I already know that there are many different types of governments in the world right now. From the a monarchy in the Middle Ages to a representative democracy in this current world, many governments have evolved over time. I think the most current types of government in the world today are communism (i.e.: Russia, North Korea), democracy (i.e.: USA, Canada) and socialism (i.e.: France). I learned these things over time, through formal and informal education. Throughout elementary and middle school, I've learned in class about governments and governance. Governments are linked closely to politics and through following the news, I've learned how governments are run.
I need to know what I want to learn about village governance.
I know how a large country governance works but I only have basic background knowledge about village governance. I want to know how laws are made in a village and how they are enforced. I also want to know who makes the laws and how laws are passed. Some other things I want to know is the villagers' opinion on the local governance and if the system is effective or not.
Over time (a few weeks), I will begin collecting more background information about my topic through research on the internet and from books in the library.
Government strongly related to clans and lineage
Several executive leaders that led the community/small group of elites that dominated decision making
Factors that were considered when selecting leaders: Age, seniority in generation, education reputation, personal ability, social/economic status
Leaders provided: goods, services for members, managing property, supporting education, resolving conflicts, raising relief funds, self defense http://www.indiana.edu/~workshop/publications/materials/conference_paper...
Before I go, I will come up with a numbered list of 10 preliminary questions about my topic. This will help guide me when I arrive in Xizhou and begin collecting information.
1. Who are the leaders of the village?
2. How are the leaders decided ?
3. What opinion do the citizens have on the leaders and if they're governing the citizens fairly?
4. Is the leadership passed on/inherited from one generation to the next?
5. What type of government system does this village use?
6. Are there separate departments/areas for different roles?
7. How are the lower positions of government decided?
8. How is the village government supporting the national government's efforts to reduce corruption?
9. What is an indication that the governance is doing a good (or bad) job governing the village?
10. How much control over the village does the governance have?
I also came up with a few possible answers to each question.
1. The leaders of the village are called "village chiefs".
2. Leaders were elected from clans and leadership was possibly passed down from one generation to the next.
Another possible answer is that the village leaders were elected by a vote.
3. The leaders are doing a good job governing the village and they are governing the village fairly.
4. The leadership is either passed down to the next generation or the leader's term is up and an election decides the next leader.
5. The type of government might be a system that resembles Communism self government.
6. A few departments may include:
7. The most powerful position of government is the village chief
8. Some leaders may misuse their power and may take bribes or misuse village funds
9. The village peoples' morale may be high and the village might be in good upkeep
10. The governance has a good amount of control over the village and keeps everything in order.
I will need to know more about this topic before I go to Xizhou so that I can research more in depth about village governance. This is my description.
I still need to know more about what roles the village government has and how much influence and power does it have over the citizens. This will allow me to assess the villagers opinion on the government and how well it's doing its job. I also need to know some more background information on what type of government the village governance uses so that I can gain a better understanding on how the village government works.