Selective policy implementation in rural China

Kevin J. O'BRIEN, Lianjiang LI

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

504 Citations (Scopus)


How do Chinese local officials distinguish between policies that must be executed and those they can safely ignore? Selective implementation is an outgrowth of the institutions that govern cadre management. As a result of one-level-down management, the end of mass campaigns, and cadre responsibility systems, local officials have urged villagers to pay their taxes, accept cremation, and practice birth control but to ignore less measurable policies that forbid excessive extraction and coercive behavior. The article also discusses efforts to address misimplementation, including "rightful resistance" by aggrieved villagers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-186
Number of pages20
JournalComparative Politics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes


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  • Selective policy implementation in rural China

    O’BRIEN, K. J. & LI, L., 13 Dec 2001, Public Management: Critical Perspectives on Business and Management. OSBORNE, S. P. (ed.). 1 ed. Routledge, Vol. 4. p. 227-247 21 p. (Critical Perspectives on Business and Management).

    Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review

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