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Fluctuating policy implementation and problems in grassroots governance


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Both passive and campaign-style implementations of public policies are utilized in China. The alternation of the two types of implementations causes public policies to fluctuate. This article conducts a detailed case study of a dynamic policy implementation process and argues that such alternation is attributable to the environment in which grassroots governments implement policies. The root causes of passive implementation and campaign-style implementation lie in the low level of applicability of policies in the local contexts and changes in pressure from above for implementation. In addition, this fluctuating policy implementation usually accumulates to create social conflicts and governance problems.
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RES E AR C H Open Access
Fluctuating policy implementation and
problems in grassroots governance
Jiajian Chen
and Qiongwen Zhang
* Correspondence: 1983970000@
Social Work Development Research
Center, Southwestern University of
Finance and Economics, Liutai road
555, Chengdu, Wenjiang District,
Both passive and campaign-style implementations of public policies are utilized in
China. The alternation of the two types of implementations causes public policies to
fluctuate. This article conducts a detailed case study of a dynamic policy
implementation process and argues that such alternation is attributable to the
environment in which grassroots govern ments implement policies. The root causes
of passive implementation and campaign-style implementation lie in the low level of
applicability of policies in the local contexts and changes in pressure from above for
implementation. In addition, this fluctuating policy implementation usually
accumulates to create social conflicts and governance problems.
Keywords: Public policy, Passive implementation, Campaign-style implementation,
Grassroots governance
The problems in the implementation of Chinas public policies have long drawn consider-
able attention from academics and the general public; the focal concerns of which include
insufficient implementation capacity and deviation from original state intentions. Yet, if
observed as a dynamic process, Chinas public policy implementation shows obvious fluc-
tuations. In some cases, policies are implemented loosely, while at other times, policy
implementation is rather rigid; loose and rigid implementations alternate and fluctuate
on a regular basis. How are loose and rigid implementations interconnected? What leads
to fluctuating policy implementation, and is it related to the mechanisms of governance?
What problems in grassroots governance
will result from fluctuating policy implemen-
tation? This article addresses these three questions.
Policy implementation and grassroots governance: issues and studies
Public policy refers to government-made rules and regulations for the management of
public affairs (Anderson 1975).
A large number of social science research works reveal
the problems in public policy implementation and their consequences. Since the 1970s,
research on policy implementation has proliferated, many of which are concerned with
problems in policy implementation and have generated some influential theories: top-
down implementation (Pressman and Wildavsky 1984), street-level bureaucrats (Lipsky
1980), organizational theory (Van Meter and Van Horn 1975), network theory (Hall and
OToole 2000), and institutional structuralism (Ostrom 1999). This research adopts
different approaches to examine various factors that impact public policy implementation
and various problems in public governance due to flawed policy implementation. We
The Journal o
Chinese Sociolog
© 2016 Chen and Zhang. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
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Chen and Zhang The Journal of Chinese Sociology (2016) 3:7
DOI 10.1186/s40711-016-0026-1
thus need a theoretical explanation of the problems in public policy implementation and
in turn, find ways for effective implementation (Hill and Hupe 2011).
In Chinese studies, scholars have revealed many governance problems resulting from
deviation in policy implementation. For instance, township governments have levied
excessive rural taxes and surcharges (santi wuton g), which imposed a heavy burden on
peasants and created social conflicts in the grassroots society (Cao 2004). Grassroots
governments enforced demolition and relocation rules and regulations in a violent
manner, creating serious social grievances (Yu 2010). In the management of urban land
for construction, state agencies swing in the manner in which they implement state
policies (He 2013). In environmental protection, local governments bypass state laws
and regulations for their own benefit, covering up polluting factories and degrading
environmental quality (Hong 2012). In sum, much research has been widely conducted
on various facets of Chinas public policy implementation and governance problems.
There are three main perspectives adopted in such analyses. First, the interests of
various levels of government are a central factor in explaining the deviation in policy
implementation. In the analysis of revenue-driven governments (Yang and Su 2002), it
has been found that for maximization of local fiscal revenues, local governments tended
to implement state policies that would reduce fiscal revenues perfunctorily or even
refused to implement them, causing many problems in grassroots governance (He 2008).
Second, poor implementation of public policies is regarded as a serious problem that leads
to the failure of central state mandates. Rigid implementation of policies is considered a
good thing (Ning 2000), yet such analysis fails to realize that rigid implementation as well
as loose implementation is a phenomenon of Chinas problematic policy implementation
and is attributable to existing governance mechanisms. Third, grassroots state behaviors
are the focus in explanations of deviating policy implementation and related governance
problems. For example, selective policy implementation (OBrien and Li 1999), symbolic
implementation (xiangzhengxing zhixing) (Li 2012), and flexible implementation (bian-
tongshi zhixing) (Wang et al. 2011) are theories explaining the failure of public policies
from the perspective of deviating grassroots state behaviors.
Based on these three perspectives, some scholars offer recommendations for improv-
ing policy implementation, and the central argument of which is to strengthen the
regulations of local governments, such as tightening supervision and evaluation, speci-
fying the duties and obligations of local governments, and reinforcing budgetary
management (Ding and Ding 2004; He and Kong 2011; Li 2012; Wang 2014). Such
policy recommendations compress the maneuvering room of grassroots governments
in enforcing policy implementation.
We agree with the above insightful analyses of policy implementation and governance
problems in that the agency of grassroots governments in policy implementation is an
important factor contributing to various methods of implementing policy. However, the
perspective of local state behavior focuses on the agency of grassroots governments and
neglects external impacts and constraints. In addition, it is too simplistic and potentially
misleading to offer policy recommendations that claim strengthening the regulations of
local state behaviors will solve the problems in public governance, and the results of such
recommendations may not be satisfactory. In the latest research on policy implementation
in the West, some scholars argue that problems in policy implementation should be
explained in light of the interaction between institutional environments and behaviors
Chen and Zhang The Journal of Chinese Sociology (2016) 3:7 Page 2 of 19
rather than simply focusing on those implementing the policy (Ostrom 1999; OToole
2000; Sabatier 2004).
In order to understand the logic of grassroots governments policy implementation in
the context of governance mechanisms, I adopt an institutional environment perspective.
For grassroots governments, two external factors exert the most significant influence on
public policy implementation. The first is the applicability of policies at the grassroots
levels. In China, public policies are created by the higher levels of authority but are imple-
mented by the lower levels of authority (OBrien and Li 1999). Thus, grassroots govern-
ments have to implement public policies that may not be fully applicable to the local
circumstances. Second, the pressure for implementation is a critical factor. In different
circumstances, the higher levels of governments pressure the lower levels of government
in different ways, creating varying environments for policy implementation at the grass-
roots level. If the applicability of policies is low along with changes in pressure for imple-
mentation from above, passive implementation and campaign-style implementation,
which seem to oppose but are actually related to each other, will alternate and fluctuate.
This article conducts a case study of policy implementation in the coal mining industry
in L County, Y City, S Province, for an in-depth analysis of policy implementation. This
industry experienced a crisis in grassroots governance. In summer 2013, L County began
a large-scale merger and restructuring of coal mines. As designed, the merger and restruc-
turing would be based on laws would take care of the interests of various stakeholders,
and would also provide an opportunity for economic restructuring and reducing social
conflicts. With these issues in mind, all governments at the provincial, city, and county
levels spared no efforts in facilitating this major industrial upgrading and transform-
ation. However, at this critical moment, a large-scale popular protest erupted that
demanded the governments and the mines pay social insurance premiums for the last
10 years to thousands of workers.
Group petitions, violent strikes, and judicial litigation
were all used and continue to date, creating a crisis in grassroots governance and render-
ing the grassroots government helpless. This crisis reflects the problems in policy imple-
mentation in the coal mining industry over the last 10 years. I conducted fieldwork from
late 2013 to June 2014 in L County in which data was collected through interviews, local
archives, and participant observation.
Passive policy implementation: circumventing laws and regulations in the
The governance crisis faced by L County in 2013 can be traced back to the late 1990s,
when the coal mining industry in L County was booming and dozens of coal mines
employed a large, young labor force and generated considerable fiscal revenues for the
county government.
From 2003 to 2011, the coal mining industry of L Cou nty was at
its apex, with the number of coal mines reaching 83.
They produced over 6.8 million
tons of coal in 2012, and the total economic output of which was approximately 3.4
billion yuan. On average, each coal mine employed 300 workers; the total numbe r of
workers employed in L Countys coal mining industry from 2005 to 2012 was around
15,000. Thus, the coal mining industry was very important to the countys economy
and society, given the number of mines, total scale of production, total economic
output, and total number of employees. However, a major crisis was surfacing in the
coal mining industry. The biggest problem was that state laws and regulations
Chen and Zhang The Journal of Chinese Sociology (2016) 3:7 Page 3 of 19
governing workers social insurance were deliberately overlooked because coal mining
companies did not provide pension plans or medical care to their work ers. This prob-
lem ultimately led to the crisis in 2013.
According to the Labor Law, in any employment relationship, employers and em-
ployees should participate in social insurance plans and pay premiums (Article 72 in the
Labor L aw). The Labor Contract Law stipulates that employers and employees must sign
labor contracts with each other in which a clause specifying social insurance must be
included (Article 17 in the Labor Contract Law). Various levels of governments wrote
policies requiring employers to include their employees in the social insurance system.
For instance, the State Council promulgated its Decision on Improving Basic Pension
Plans for Employees of Enterprises,
and the Ministry of Labor and Social Security called
for expanding the coverage of pension plans, and protecting the social security rights of
In addition, L Province also wrote a policy stating that all urban enterprises,
public institutions managed as enterprises, and nonenterprise private organizations and
their contracted employees must purchase social insurance, particularly pension plans.
However, in L Countys coal mining industry, I found that such state laws and regulations
governing social insurance were not included in labor contracts but were replaced with
another set of agreements. A typical labor contract in the coal mining industry reads as
Chapter 4 Remuneration
Article 1. Party A determines remuneration based on the wage system of the Coal
Mine, may or may not be a piecework system.
Article 2. Party A remunerates party B in cash, and the last days of each month are
the dates for the payment of wages of the previous month, except for special cases.
Chapter 5 Social insurance and welfare
Article 1. Upon the request of party B, party A must pay all social insurance
premiums for party B as included in party Bs wage, and it is party Bs responsibility
to decide whether he or she purchases social insurance and the consequences of not
purchasing should be dealt with solely by party B (except for work-related injur y
Article 2. The expenses of medical treatment due to illness and nonwork-related in-
jury must be paid solely by party B.
Article 3. Work-related injuries of party B are treated in accordance with Regulations
Governing Work-related Injury Insurance and other related laws and regulations.
Article 4. Party B provides accommodation for party B and its centralized
management, and party B is not responsible for the consequence of any event in
which party B leaves centrally managed areas of the Coal Mine without the consent
of party A.
Article 5. Overtime work on Saturdays and Sundays as well as statutory public
holidays is determined based on work assignment forms, and overtime pay is
determined in accordance with related laws and regulations.
Article 6. Party B must obtain the permission of the Head of the Coal Mine to leave
the Coal Mine, and Party B has to be responsible for any consequences of his or her
leaving the Coal Mine without the permission of the Head. In such an event, party
A has the right to assume that party B has resigned from his or her job.
Chen and Zhang The Journal of Chinese Sociology (2016) 3:7 Page 4 of 19
In L Countys coal mining industry, mandatory social insurance is absent, except for
work-related injury insurance. Both the employers and employees are highly concerned
with the latter because work-related injuries are commonplace in the coal mining indus-
try. Social insurance premiums are replaced with revenues of the coal mine and wages of
the employees. In other words, employees wages include social insurance premiums that
should actually be used for purchasing social insurance. Based on the income levels in the
coal mining industry, each employee should pay 200300 yuan each month for social
insurance. Instead, coal mines save these social insurance premiums. The average income
of coal mine workers in L County is 30004000 yuan, and thus, coal mines should pay
500800 yuan each month for each employees social insurance. For employees who are
in their twenties or thirties, in-pocket wages are more valuable than a social insurance
policy that may only prove valuable in the future. Hence, for both the employers and
employees, it is worth circumventing mandatory social insurance regulations and breaking
the law. Astonishingly, this law-breaking practice existed in L County for more than a
decade and involved tens of thousands of employees.
Why was the county government absent when it is supposed to enforce laws? Did
related government bureaus have no knowledge of this problem? My fieldwork showed
that this was not the case; the bureaus of Labor and Social Security and Economy and
Information Technology were well aware of the problem. For instance, before 2013, L
Countys Bureau of Labor and Social Security clearly realized that this problem existed
and made efforts to establish a regulatory system overseeing social insurance, requiring
enterprises to purchase social insurance and creating profiles of employees who circum-
vented social insurance and preventing them from finding reemployment.
these efforts were in vain and the problem persisted, resulting in the crisis in 2013.
The fieldwork determined three reasons that the policy of mandatory social insurance
was not implemented in the coal mining industry despite the fact that the laws and
regulations were clear and the state agencies in charge were clearly aware of the problem.
The first reason is irregular employment in the industry. In L County, the seasons of
employment in the coal mining industry are irregular and differ considerably from other
industries. The production of coal fluctuates dramatically with the market. Generally
speaking, there are three seasons for coal production: several months after the Chinese
New Year is the first busy season, followed by an off season in the summer, and the
second busy season occurs in the latter half of the year. This causes a high level of mobil-
ity of employees. Although the workers sign a 1-year contract with the coal mines, they
actually work there for half a year and spend the other half working elsewhere. The
irregular and mobile characteristics of employment make it very difficult to enforce
mandatory social insurance because it is hard for coal mines to purchase social insurance
for their floating employees. State agencies are also incapable of overseeing social insur-
ance for this highly mobile workforce.
The se cond reason is strong interjurisdictional competition. L County is located at
the intersection of the borders of three provinces, with more than a dozen neighboring
counties also heavily reliant on the coal mining industry. The intercounty competition
is strong, one important facet of which is competition for a labor force. In order to
attract workers, heads of coal mines usually cater to workers demands by, among other
things, ca shing social insurance premiums for workers. This creates a dilemma for the
L County government in terms of law enforcement because strict enforcement of state
Chen and Zhang The Journal of Chinese Sociology (2016) 3:7 Page 5 of 19
laws and regulations governing social insurance of mine workers could push workers
out of the county. Within S province, L County could ask the municipality above it to
coordinate all its subordinate counties to enforce laws and regulations in the coal
mining industry. However, it is more complicated when coal mines in two other prov-
inces are also involved. Thus, the L County Bureau of Labor and Social Security sub-
mitted a report to the central government suggesting a coordination agency for the
coal mining regions in the three provinces but received no reply due to complicated
administrative coordination. In this context of intercounty competition, the L County
government acquiesces to the practice of circumventing social insurance in the coal
mining industry to avoid losing workers from the county, which would negatively affect
production and the county governments fiscal revenue. According to the countys
statistics, 1 t of coal generates 130 yuan of state taxes and fees. During 20102013, the
annual average production output of coal was four million tons, which generated state
taxes and fees in the amount of 460 million yuan. This was undoubtedly the major
source of fiscal revenue for all counties located in this mountainous region.
The third reason is state intervention. The production of ordinary enterprises is
determined by the market. The coal mining industry is differ ent because it is heavily
influenced by state intervention. Coal mines are forced to suspend production during
holidays and festivals, such as a 1-month suspension during the Chinese New Year, in
order to avoid industrial accidents. More importantly, in the safety-in-production
regulatory system, a collective punishment arrangement (lianzuo zhidu )
is adopted,
which means an accident in one coal mine incurs industry-wide suspension and rectifi-
cation in this area; the range of suspension and re ctification is highly related to the
severity of the accident. During my fieldwork, L Countys related bureaus explained the
rules of practicing collective punishment. If three or more people die in a coal mine
accident, all coal mines in the county have to suspend production. If ten or more
people die in a coal mine accident, all coal mines in the municipality have to suspend
production. If 20 or more people die, usu ally all coal mines in the province have to
suspend production. In 2013, a coal mine accident occurred in S province in which 29
people died. This led to suspension of production in all coal mines in S Province from
May to October. All workers were unemployed during the suspension except for such
safety-related work as ventilation, drainage, and gas monitoring. According to L County
Bureau of Economy and Information Technology statistics, all coal mines in L County
were forced to suspend production for 3 months in 2011, 6 months in 2012, and
5 months in 2013; the reasons for which were usually coal mine accidents in other
The coal mining industry is therefore heavily affected by state intervention instead of
operating purely in accordance with the market, which causes problems in social insur-
ance. For instance, handling employees social insurance when coal mines are forced by
the local state to suspend production presents a difficult problem. According to the
Ministry of Labor and Social Security, as long as the labor contract is valid, social insur-
ance premiums should be paid even when enterprises suspend their business operations.
However, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security does not explain whether such policy
is applicable to forced suspension required by the state. If enterprises suspend production
due to state intervention, enterprises are reluctant to pay their employees social insurance
premiums because enterprises are not voluntarily suspending production. During my
Chen and Zhang The Journal of Chinese Sociology (2016) 3:7 Page 6 of 19
fieldwork, one owner of coal mine calculated the costs of social insurance for me. Taking
a coal mine employing 300 workers as an example, the coal mine has to pay 500800
yuan per month for each worker as social insurance premiums, totaling 150,000 yuan for
all 300 workers. If the coal mine suspends production for 5 months a year on average, the
coal mine has to pay social insurance premiums in the amount of 750,000 yuan during
suspension, which is hard for a coal mine whose profit averages three million yuan a
In addition, since workers have no wages during suspension, they are unable to
pay social insurance premiums. Heavy state intervention makes it difficult for the coal
mining industry to enforce mandatory social insurance compared to other industries.
The related bureaus of L County were concerned about this dilemma and requested
several times that coal mines purchase social insurance for their employees. However, they
found that specific rules for implementation are absent in state laws and regulations.
More importantly, provincial and municipal governments did not investigate this problem
and exert pressure for implementation, keeping state laws and regulations at the macro
level with no specific rules for implementation. In Chinasadministrativesystem,akey
criterion for judging whether local governments take state policies seriously is the rules
for implementation created by local governments since it is difficult to implement state
policies without such rules. Hence, it may indicate that local governments do not take
state policies seriously if they just forward the policies to their subordinates but do not
provide specific rules for implementation. This was exactly the case regarding social insur-
ance in the coal mining industry in S Province. Moreover, L County was concerned about
the difficulties of implementing state laws and regulations and put this problem aside for
more than a decade. They acquiesced to coal mines and their employees circumventing
state laws and regulations, thus allowing social conflicts to accumulate.
Campaign-style policy implementation: the shutdown of coal mine s under
enormous pressure
The State Council released its Circular of Opinions on Accelerating Mergers and
Restructuring of Coal Mines
in 2010, requesting nationwide rectification of the coal
mining industry. The guiding principle of rectification as provided in this document is to
make full use of the market mechanism and facilitate it with state policies combine
enforcement in accordance with laws and regulations with institutional and mechanism
innovations, reduce the number of coal mines while protecting the lawful rights of
workers and investors. The central objectives are to combine the market mechanism and
state intervention to eliminate inefficient coal mines through selection or competition,
upgrade the industrial structure, and protect the rights of investors and workers. S Prov-
ince did not take the implementation of this state policy very seriously and only created
its rules of implementation in early 2013. The provincial rules abide by the guiding
principle of the State Council by stating that it is to make full use of the market mechan-
ism and facilitate it with state policies, combine centralized planning with adaption to
local conditions and classified management, combine enforcement in accordance with
laws and regulations with institutional and mechanism innovations, reduce the number of
coal mines while protecting the lawful rights of workers and investors,
and specify that
coal mines that do not have legal mining licenses and do not meet safety-in-production
criteria, coal resources-exhausted mines, and mines of which the annual production
output is below 30,000 t have to be shut down and rectified. This document also required
Chen and Zhang The Journal of Chinese Sociology (2016) 3:7 Page 7 of 19
counties specializing in the coal mining industry to create their work plans before June
2013, make initial efforts to shut down coal mines that did not have legal mining licenses
and did not meet safety-in-production criteria, and complete the merger and restructur-
ing of all coal mines by June 2015. It was repeated again and again that the interests of
various stakeholders should be protected: all localities and all departments should attach
great importance to the employment of workers, carefully handle the transfers and
changes of labor relations of workers carefully solve the problems of continuing
workers labor relations and social insurance and unpaid wages and social insurance
premiums in order to protect workers lawful rights and cope with problems in debts
and liabilities, specify the duties of repayment of debts, and protect the lawful rights of
creditors and investors.
L County welcomed the rules of implementation made by S Province in early 2013, and
its bureaus of Labor and Social Security and Economy and Information Technology,
which were in charge of this work, believed that the rules would enable reasonable and
lawful rectification of coal mines. By lawful they meant abiding by state laws and regu-
lations; by reasonable they meant protecting the rights of local governments, investors,
and workers. There were thus few obstacles to implementation. In sum, L County
believed that the rules provided the time for rectifying the coal mines and the industrial
restructuring, and it planned to take two or three years to shut down coal mines, the
smaller ones first and larger ones later, in order to reconcile conflicts and solve the
In early 2013, however, a major industrial accident occurred in a coal mine in S
Province, which led to forced suspension of production in all coal mines in S Province for
5 months. In addition, the S Provincial Government decided to accelerate the rectification
of coal mines and released the Emergency Circular of General Office of the S Provincial
Government regarding the Acceleration of Rectification and Shutdown of Coal Mines.
This statement required each county and municipality to select the major local party-state
officials to form their own work teams to efficiently carry out the rectification. Before
May 2013, the S Provincial Government had set the task of shutting down 120 coal mines
in S Province, of which 16 coal mines were in Y Municipality and 4 coal mines in L
County. However, the accident in May pushed this number up to 400 coal mines,
matically increasing the tasks of Y Municipality and L County. As a result, management
by objectives (mubiao guanli zerenzhi) was adopted at the provincial, municipal, and
county levels to rectify coal mines; in this process, the guiding principle shifted from
market mechanism to state administration, and an economic task became a political task.
Some previous research has revealed the mechanism of management by objectives,
and the main features of which are that governments at the higher levels assign tasks and
objectives to lower-level governments and evaluate their performance against quantitative
criteria (Wang and Wang 2009). Management by objectives reflects the operation of the
pressure-based administration (yalixing tizhi), which stimulates officials to employ a
variety of methods to fulfill the tasks assigned by superiors (Rong and Yang 1998). In the
rectification of coal mines in L County, management by objectives can be found in
quantitative criteria, assigned dates of completion, and evaluation and corresponding
rewards and punishment. The objective was to shut down 400 coal mines in total in 2013
in S Province. Since the number of coal mines in Y Municipality accounts for 15 % of all
coal mines in the province, its assigned number of coal mines was 63. Likewise, the
Chen and Zhang The Journal of Chinese Sociology (2016) 3:7 Page 8 of 19
number of coal mines in L County accounted for 25 % of all coal mines in Y Municipality;
its assigned number of coal mines was thus 16.
The dates of completion were all by the
end of the year, when all shut-down coal mines would undergo inspection by high-level
governments and archival materials would be submitted to the S Provincial Steering
Group. Local party-state chiefs were to be held accountable; they had to either finish it
or get kicked out the office.
In this strict management by objectives, L Countysoriginalplanofreasonably and
lawfully shutting down coal mines to smoothly reconcile conflicts and industrial restruc-
turing became unrealistic. The new objectives demanded speedy measures to forcibly ful-
fill the task of shutting down 16 coal mines. Of the 53 coal mines in L County at the end
of 2012, 16 had to be shut down in 2013, accounting for 30 %. L County took three steps
to fulfill this task. The first step was regional coordination of quotas. In its analysis, the L
County government found that the mining conditions and technology in L County were
fairly good and forcibly shutting the mines down was economically unwise. L County thus
decided to purchase quotas of rectification from other counties and supplement them
with its own mines. Through information collection and coordination, the L County
government purchased five coal mines in other counties in Y Municipality, spending 10
million yuan on average for each coal mine. The five mines had limited production output
and were on the verge of shutdown and were thus willing to be sold to L County to meet
its shutdown quota.
The second step was to shut down four problematic coal mines,
among which one had an industrial accident, one underwent an initial shutdown, and the
other two were technically difficult to upgrade.
There were only seven shutdown quotas
remaining after the first and second steps. Since there was no widely acceptable criterion
for selection, the coal mines were ranked in terms of the quantity of coal resources, and
the mines ranked the lowest were forced to shut down. This practice was illegal, but given
the mandates from the S Provincial Government, L County had to take extraordinary
measures. According to the directive from the S Provincial Government in March 2013,
these types of mines should not be shut down.
L County did not feel that the forced shutdown of coal mines was legitimate since
from the perspe ctive of law enforcement, all mines in the county had their mining
licenses. However, the forceful pressure from above demanded that this task be
completed. After receiving subsidies from their superiors, the county government spent
a large amount of fiscal revenues to facilitate the shutdown of the mines, hoping that
the high level of compensation would buy the mine owners understanding. Compensa-
tion for shutting down mines came from provincial, municipal, and county finances.
The provincial government provided four million yuan for shutting down mines with
an annual coal production of 90,000 t and above, three million yuan for shutting down
mines with an annual coal production below 90,000 t, and one million yuan for coal
mines that merged with othe rs.
The municipal government provided supporting
funds in the amount of seven million, six million, and two million yuan. Funds from
the county government were solely based on production output regardless of shutdown
or merger. The policy was seven million yuan for mines with an annual coal production
of 90,000 t and above and six million yuan for mines with an annual coal production
below 90,000 t. This actually encouraged a merger. When combining the three sources
of compensation funds, a mine with an annual coal production of 90,000 t and above
would receive eighteen million yuan, a mine with an annual coal production below
Chen and Zhang The Journal of Chinese Sociology (2016) 3:7 Page 9 of 19
90,000 t would receive fifteen million yuan, and a merged mine would receive nine mil-
lion yuan.
Despite the fact that provincial, municipal, and county governments spent a large
amount of fiscal funds, the standards of compensation were barely acceptable to coal
mine owners. Opening a coal mine usually required an investment of over twenty million
yuan; thus, the compensation did not suffice. L County added more compensation for
coal mines and basically reached the amount of investment, and it also asked other mines
to provide additional compensation funds based on their production output. L County
government explained that sixteen mines were shut down, and thus the surviving mines
would benefit from this policy; it was reasonable for them to provide additional compen-
sation funds. The specific criterion was that each ton of coal produced since November
2013 would be levied an additional fee of 20 yuan. Based on the price of coal and the
market prospects, it would take at least 3 years to levy the total amount of fees as
compensation funds. Among the mines shut down in 2013, the one that received the most
compensation funds was a medium-sized mine with an annual production output of
150,000 t; it received 37.6 million yuan in compensation. The three levels of budgetary
funds could only provide 18 million yuan in compensation, with the remaining funds to
be paid by the surviving mines. The shutdown schedule was that mines shut down by the
end of August 2013 would receive the first installment accounting for 50 % of the total
compensation funds and mines shut down by the end of October 2013 would receive the
first installment accounting for 40 % of the total compensation funds.
Only after the
mines had properly handled all equipment and workers wages and signed agreements
with the government would the shutdown be considered complete and the remaining
installment of compensation funds be paid. For the shutdown mines, 20 % of the compen-
sation funds were still withheld in case of additional problems, such as environmental
pollution or unpaid wages. Ultimately, L County took forceful measures to fulfill the task.
In this process, the originally light rectification of coal mines was radicalized into a strict
political task. The number of mines to be shut down in L County increased from 4 to 16.
The criterion for identifying the mines to be shut down also changed from only shutting
down problematic mines to forcibly assigning quotas of shutdowns. All levels of govern-
ment spent their own budgetary funds and deployed harsh measures to fulfill the task.
However, the consequences of this campaign were that 3000 workers in the coal mining
industry lost their jobs due to the shutdown, and L Countys fiscal revenue was severely
impacted. The sudden rise of unemployment intensified the social conflicts that had
accumulated and led to a crisis in grassroots governance.
The emergence of the governance crisis and its coping strategies
In the last decade, state laws and regulations governing social insurance were not enforced
in L Countys coal mining industry. This problem was not evident because mines did well,
workers were employed, and both parties benefited from the development of the industry.
However, when many mines were shut down, this became a crisis. The large-scale shut-
down of mines reduced L Countys fiscal revenues by about 20 %. During the rectification,
the government also spent more than one hundred million yuan in compensation funds,
which was a heavy fiscal burden. The effects on workers were even more obvious, as the
shutdown led to the unemployment of over 3000 workers, accounting for one fifth of all
employees in the coal mining industry. Although the workers could not control the
Chen and Zhang The Journal of Chinese Sociology (2016) 3:7 Page 10 of 19
shutdown of the mines, they did have the right to ask for compensation; the starting point
for protecting their rights was the social insurance issue.
The workers argued that the coal mines had continuously circumvented their responsi-
bility to purchase social insurance for the workers and violated state laws and regulations.
They claimed that since the mines were to be shut down, mine owners should pay the
social insurance premiums directly to workers in compensation. Many workers had
worked in coal mines in L County for a long period, some over 10 years, and thus their
compensation funds would total tens of thousands of yuan. Coal mine owners opposed
such demands because they believed that social insurance premiums had been paid to the
workers in cash, and even though the mines were shut down, they were not required to
pay compensation funds for workers social insurance. What is more, mines did not have
the money to pay. For instance, BXL Coal Mine had been in operation for almost 10 years,
employing 200 to 400 workers each year. The workers were demanding 6000 yuan in
compensation funds for each person/year. This would total twelve million to twenty-four
million yuan per year for BXL Coal Mine, which for a mine that had already greatly
suffered from the shutdown was unaffordable. Some mine owners stated that they would
purchase social insurance for workers, but the precondition was that workers return their
social insurance premiums included in their wages in the past. If workers returned these
premiums, mine owners would pay the workers all social insurance from the past few
years. However, this proposal was rejected by the majority of workers. Since mine owners
did not meet the workers demands, the workers took collective action to pressure the
county government for a solution, using three methods. The first method was litigation.
Four mine workers engaged lawyers to sue the coal mines on the basis that the labor
contracts signed between workers and coal mines were unlawful. The agreements
between employers and employees on the payment of social insurance premiums in cash
violated state laws. They claimed the coal mines were obliged to purchase social insurance
for workers, and they should also pay unpaid premiums when the mines were shut down.
The second method was group petition. Since the end of 2013, hundreds of workers had
petitioned the county, municipal, and provincial governments dozens of times. For
instance, at the end of 2013, hundreds of workers organized a motorcycle team to petition
the Y municipal government, which gained wide attention. Petitions to the county govern-
ment were commonplace and occurred frequently. The township governments located in
the coal mining areas also received more than a dozen petitions. The third method was to
block the work in the mines. At BXL Coal Mine, the workers demands for social insur-
ance premiums were not satisfied after the merger of the mine, and hundreds of workers
blocked the mining work for a month. These conflicts exerted significant pressure on L
County, resulting in the related bureaus of the county government being, in the words of
the officials, always at alert and always receiving petitions.
The rectification of coal
mines became more difficult to handle, and the improper handling may have encouraged
more workers to get involved.
Based on previous experiences, there were four coping strategies for L County to utilize
in this crisis. The first was to make workers litigation more difficult. The county court-
house stated that the workers social insurance issues varied from one another and thus
should be dealt with case by case; group litigation was not accepted. The second was to
contain workers petitions; as long as there were no violent actions against coal mines or
governments, petitions were allowed. The third was to coordinate various types of social
Chen and Zhang The Journal of Chinese Sociology (2016) 3:7 Page 11 of 19
security. For instance, funds from the new rural cooperative medical system were used to
partially cover the costs of workers social insurance premiums. In order to avoid further
disputes, L County asked the coal mines to provide a breakdown of wage and social insur-
ance premiums on the workers pay stubs as evidence that they were coping with potential
disputes. However, the actual effects were still unclear. When I was doing fieldwork from
late 2013 to April 2014, the popular protests were continuing, workers demands were not
met, the coal mines were significantly impacted by the shutdown, and both parties were
very dissatisfied with the government. Although L County spent a large amount of money
to cope with the crisis, the direction in which the crisis would move was still unclear.
The applicabi lity of policy and the pressure for implementation
This article focuses on why a crisis in grassroots governance occurred. The particular
perspective adopted for this analysis is the relationship between crisis and policy imple-
mentation. I argue that examining only local state behaviors does not suffice, and the
structural context of policy implementation must be brought in for the analysis of imple-
mentation. In the grassroots society, there are two dimensions in the structural context of
policy implementation: the applicability of policy and the pressure for implementation.
The applicability of policy refers to the compatibility between policies and the local grass-
roots conditions. If policies are compatible with these conditions, the policies are applic-
able and practical. In contrast, if policies are incompatible with local grassroots
conditions, the policies are inapplicable and impractical. The applicability of policies
affects the difficulty of implementing policy; the more applicable a policy is, the less diffi-
cult it is to implement. There are a number of factors impacting the applicability of
policies, such as the quality of policy making (Ning 2000; Huang 2011), how complicated
the grassroots conditions are (Wang 2008), and how complicated the bureaucratic struc-
ture is (Chen et al. 2013). This article does not discuss these factors in detail but simply
provides a holistic perspective to look into the characteristics of policy implementation.
Another factor affecting policy implementation is the pressure for implementation,
namely the corresponding rewards and punishment assigned by superiors. The stronger
the rewards and punishment are, the more significant the pressure and the more incentive
the grassroots governments feel to implement policies. There are many factors affecting
policy implementation, such as economic benefits (Oi 1999) and political mobilization
(Zhou and Lian 2011).
In Chinas grassroots society, both the applicability of policies and the pressure for
implementation are complicated. In a centralized system, policies are made by the central
state, which is inevitably different from local conditions and makes the applicability of
policies low (OBrien and Li 1999). Alesina and Spolaore (2003) call this the costs of the
scale of the state, while Zhou (2011) argues that it is due to the design of Chinasstate
system to uphold state authority at the cost of the effectiveness of governance. Thus,
many state policies are not very applicable in the grassroots context and face serious
problems of implementation.
In terms of policy implementation, the pressure for implementation fluctuates from low
to high levels. While pressure for implementing some policies is low and thus policies are
either poorly implemented or implemented in adaptive and flexible ways (biantong)
(Wang et al. 2011), in other cases, the pressure for implementation is high in campaign-
like ways (Zhou 2012). The analytical framework developed here is based on the two
Chen and Zhang The Journal of Chinese Sociology (2016) 3:7 Page 12 of 19
dimensions of the applicability of policy and the pressure for policy implementation, as
illustrated in Table 1.
When policies are highly applicable to grassroots contexts, policies are easy for the
grassroots governm ent to accept and implement. If the pressure for implementation is
low, policies are implemented slowly. Normal implementation can usually be found in
policies that are not controversial, such as the Grand Western Development program
(xibu dakaifa) (Wang 2014), the development of NGOs (Wang 2008), and the develop-
ment of public governance projects (Chen, 2013).
However, many policies are not very applicable in the grassroots context, which leads to
problems in policy implementation. If the pressure for implementation is low, passive
implementation will occur, which means that the grassroots governments do not openly
resist policies but implement policies perfunctorily without achieving the core objectives
of the policies. As long as policies are poorly applicable and the pressure for implementa-
tion is low, passive implementation will proliferate in grassroots governance. For instance,
when town and village enterprises boomed, local governments perfunctorily implemented
state tax policies in order to protect local interests, with no close oversight by the supe-
riors. This created many opportunities for local enterprises to evade taxes (Oi 1999). If
policies are poorly applicable, they face considerable resistance at the grassroots level, and
tremendous pressure for implementation at this point will stimulate the grassroots govern-
ment to employ extraordinary methods to achieve the policy objectives in the form of
campaign-style implementation. Campaign-style implementation refers to the phenomenon
in which grassroots governments go beyond the scope of conventional administrative proce-
dures and use various resources to forcefully implement policies (Zhou 2012). Campaign-
style implementation usually deviates from the original rules governing the selection of
policy targets and implementation procedures and leads to deinstitutionalization of policy
implementation (Feng 2001). This style of implementation is commonplace in Chinasgrass-
roots society. For instance, since the 1980s and under tremendo us political pressure, the
strict family planning policy was implemented at great legal, fiscal, and human cost in order
to break resistance to the policy (Yi 2013). Another example is the forced economic restruc-
turing of town and village enterprises in the 1990s; facing strong grassroots resistance, local
governments forcibly sold all collectively owned enterprises to individuals and did not allow
new town and village enterprises to be formed, leading to their abrupt disappearance
(Xinwang 2005).
It was found in the case of L County that the applicability of policies regarding both
workers social insurance and the shutdown of coal mines was low. State mandatory
policies regarding social insurance were poorly applicable due to the problems of a highly
mobile labor force, poor regional coordination, and strong state intervention in industrial
production. The absence of state-designed, detailed rules for implementation made them
Table 1 Categorizations of policy implementation. Four categorizations of policy implementation:
passive implementation, normal implementation (low speed), campaign-style implementation, and
normal implementation (high speed)
Applicability of policy
Low High
Pressure for implementation Low Passive implementation Normal implementation (low speed)
High Campaign-style implementation Normal implementation (high speed)
Chen and Zhang The Journal of Chinese Sociology (2016) 3:7 Page 13 of 19
more difficult to implement. Pressure from the higher levels of government for implemen-
tation of state laws and regulations governing social insurance was not high, and there
was no mandatory inspection of the implementation conditions. These factors led to
passive implementation of policies regarding workers social insurance in L County, with
no effective solution.
The policy of shutting down coal mines was also poorly applicable to L County.
Given L Countys fiscal revenues, industrial structure, and employment problem, it was
difficult to shut down many mines because it did not help solve the problems in this
industry that had accumulated over the last decade. Due to tremendous pressure from
the superiors beginning in summer 2013, L County government had to forcibly shut
down and merge mines in a campaign-like style.
Problems in grassroots governance as a result of fluctuating policy
If the applicability of policy is low and the pressure for policy implementation varies,
policy implementation at the grassroots level often fluctuates between passive implemen-
tation and campaign-style implementation. Policy implementation fluctuates in a particu-
lar policy area; sometimes policies are implemented rather loosely and passively, while at
other times, policies are implemented very rigidly in campaign-like styles. Campaign-style
implementation occurred in L Countys coal mining industry. State laws and policies
governing workers social insurance could not be implemented in L County, and the core
objectives of the policy were not achieved. Since 2013, however, due to tremendous
pressure from the central, provincial, and municipal governments regarding the shutdown
of mines, the county government took harsh measures to forcibly shut down many coal
mines using campaign-style implementation. The shutdown of mines was highly related
to the social insurance problem because many workers were laid off, leading to workers
demands for compensation of social insurance premiums and large-scale collective
Fluctuation in policy implementation is an important cause of many problems in
grassroots governance. When policies are passively implemented, policy objectives are
not achieved, and this deviation accumulates over time. The longer the passive imple-
mentation, the more organizations and people are involved and the more serious the
hidden conflicts are. In a period of campaign-style implementation, however, policies
are implemented at whatever cost and on a large scale, damaging the legitimacy of
policies, blocking the channel for legal solutions, incurring large-scale eruption of prob-
lems, elimi nating the buffer period for coordination, and exerting tremendous pressure
on the grassroots society (Fig. 1).
Other research has revealed that fluctuations in policy implementation between loose
and strict methods are commonplace in grassroots Chinese society, and the resultant
problems in grassroots governance also proliferate. For instance, since the 1980s, local
governments extrabudgetary revenues in tax and fiscal systems increased significantly,
and the institutional oversight of fiscal expenditures weakened. The tax-sharing system
tightened up local governments extrabudgetary revenue, but their continuing fiscal
expenditures in the same manner brought about major debts for local governments (Zhou
2012). In the 1990s, grassroots governments were unduly reliant on rural taxes and
surcharges (santi wutong) for government expenditures, despite being warned numerous
Chen and Zhang The Journal of Chinese Sociology (2016) 3:7 Page 14 of 19
times by the central state. This led to the emergence of absorptive (jiqu xing)local
governments (Zhou 2006). In the area of financial regulation, many local governments did
not regulate private lending, creating significant risks. Once the problem was uncovered,
local governments banned private lending completely, jeopardizing stable financial develop-
ment and local economic development (Zhang 2006; Gao and Tang 2012). In the area of
letters and petitions (xinfang), the administrative methods of grassroots governments
aggrieved many people; once the state affirmed the value of letters and petitions, local cases
of letters and petitions surged and overwhelmed grassroots governments (Tian 2012).
Conclusion and discussion
The case of L Countys coal mining industry demonstrates that grassroots governments
take substantially different approaches to the implementation of public policies, fluctuat-
ing between passive implementation and campaign-style implementation. At first glance,
the two approaches contradict each other, but they are actually closely interconnected.
Both are the results of low applicability of policies, and grassroots governments choose
from them in the context of varying degrees of pressure for implementation. The two
approaches are essentially noninstitutionalized, violating the rules and procedures of
public policy implementation, and thus are two sides of the same coin. Fluctuation in
policy implementation is derived from the tension between a low level of applicability of
policies and the varying degrees of pressure for implementation in the governance
mechanism. The power of policy making is distributed from the top down, rendering
many public policies poorly applicable to grassroots contexts; the performance-oriented
governance mechanism makes the pressure for implementation vary from case to case
(Feng 2001) and thus fluctuating policy implementation is commonplace. Both passive
implementation and campaign-style implementation deviate from policy rules, undermin-
ing the effectiveness of institutions and creating problems in grassroots governance. Many
conflicts accumulate and remain hidden during the period of passive implementation and
intensify and erupt during the period of campaign-style implementation. Improper hand-
ling of these problems by local governments may bring about crises in grassroots
It should be noted that this article provides an analysis of the empirical facts without
presenting value judgments. For instance, it is not the objective of this article to discuss
Fig. 1 Fluctuating policy implementation. Two episodes of fluctuating policy implementation: passive
implementation and campaign-style implementation, causing the conflicts accumulating and erupting
process in grassroots governance
Chen and Zhang The Journal of Chinese Sociology (2016) 3:7 Page 15 of 19
whether coal mine workers in L County should be compensated or whether it is wise
to shut down many mines in a campaign-style manner.
The case of L County is
utilized simply to reveal the complicated situation of public policy implementation in
grassroots Chinese society. In the case of L County, the problem in policy implementation
is not due solely to the choices made by the grassroots governments but is partly due to
the policy implementation context in which grassroots governments are embedded. When
the applicability of policies is low and the pressure for implementation varies from low to
high, policy implementation in grassroots governments can easily fluctuate and cause
problems. The examination of such mechanisms is necessary for a fuller understanding of
policy implementation and grassroots governance. It is not that simplistic to claim that
the stricter the oversight of grassroots governments, the better the effects of policy
implementation will be. In addition, since policy makers and implementers are far from
each other in the administrative hierarchy, the level of applicability of policies may be very
low (Zhou 2014). The stricter the oversight of the grassroots, the more probable it is that
governance may fail at the grassroots level.
Many issues remain that are not discussed in this research. First, at the theoretical level,
what are the reasons for the variations in the degree of pressure for policy implementa-
tion, and how are such variations transmitted within the administrative hierarchy? This is
key to an in-depth explanation of the fluctuation in policy implementation. This question
needs to be answered by analyzing the entire administrative hierarchy. However, due to
limitations in my empirical data and research capability, I do not discuss this question in
detail here but call academic attention to this question by providing an empirical research
study. Second, at the analytical framework level this article briefly identifies the two
dimensions of the applicability of policies and the pressure for implementation with
reference to the context of policy implementation. This framework is derived from empir-
ical data and needs more detailed elaboration of the two dimensions through further
research. Third, at the empirical level, as a case study, the analytical framework and main
arguments in this article need to be tested through further empirical research to deter-
mine if they can widely explain the problems in Chinas policy implementation. This
article is only an initial attempt that invites follow-ups, feedback, and critiques.
Grassroots refers to state administration syste ms at the county level and below.
Grassroots governance is the con crete embodiment of state administration within the
society and is of particular importance (Zhe 2014).
Based on the basic definit ions of public policy in academia, this article adopts the
general definition of public policy, including state laws, administrative regulations, and
specific departmental rules. The point of including laws in the analysis of public policy
is that law enforcement, as well as ordinary policy implementation, exerts some polit-
ical pressure on the local state. In addition, laws may also be enforced passively or in
campaign style. The former can be found in the enforcement of laws that govern intel-
lectual property rights and bannin g pornographic products and prostitution, while the
latter may typically be found in the strike hard ( yanda) campaigns that enforce laws
more harshly than the laws actually stipulate. Thus, laws and ordinary public policies
can be combined for the analysis of local governance. Moreover, laws usually need
Chen and Zhang The Journal of Chinese Sociology (2016) 3:7 Page 16 of 19
corresponding departmental rules and interpretations for effective enforcement, render-
ing laws and ordinary public policies closely interconnected.
There were also other demands, such as workers overtime pay for holidays in the
last few years. However, since these demands are easy to handle and the costs are rela-
tively low, I do not discuss these issues in detail here.
For the history of the coal mining industry in L County, see Interview 20140418RSJ.
According to statistics from the L Count y Bureau of Economy and Information
Technology (Bureau of Commerce), during 20032005 , the number of coal mines was
at its apex of 83. This number was around 50 during 20062012 due to mergers.
Document No. 38 of the State Council, 2005.
Document No. 31 of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, 2005.
Document No. 17 of the S Provincial Department of Labor and Social Security,
In my fieldwork conducted in the L County Bureau of Labor and Social Security, the
officials in charge defined this regulatory system as similar to a credit record system; in
principal, employees who do not purchase social insurance are unable to reenter the labor
market in the coal mining industry.
The collective punishment arrangement has also been adopted in European and
North American countries, but only at the enterprise level. In other words, if there is
an accident in a subsidiary, its parent company and all other subsidiaries have to be
rectified. In China, however, the level of applying collective punishment is industry-
and area-wide, particularly in such industries a s coal mining, food, and fireworks and
crackers, in which industrial accidents are more commonplace.
During my fieldwork, the owner of coal mine stated that the current annual profit
of coal mines is usually around three million yuan. However, profit may fluctuate along
with the market.
Document No. 46 of the State Council, 2010.
Opinions of S Province on Accelerating Mergers and Restructuring of Coal
Mines , Marc h 2013.
Document No. 133 of the General Office of the S Provincial Government, 2013.
For the list of coal mines, see The Circu lar of the General Office of the S Provin-
cial Steering Group for the Merger and Restructuring of Coal Mines regarding the List
of Coal Min es to Be Shut down in 2013.
For the list of coal mines, see The Circular of the Y Municipal Steering Group
for the Merger and Restructuring of Coal Mines regarding the Objectives of Shutting
down Small-sized Coal Mines in 2013.
Interview 20140418RSJ.
The quality of mines in L County is higher than that of other counties in Y
Municipalitys coal mining areas. On the one hand, the L County Government felt it
was unfair that the quotas of rectifi cation were assigned only in quantitative terms
without consideration of the quality of mines, thus incurring higher costs for L County.
On the other hand, this policy also provided L County some maneuvering room
because it could purchase mines on the verge of bankruptcy from neighboring counties
with poor mining conditions to fulfill their task.
The L County governments criterion was that a ten-million-yuan investment was
not enough to upgrade to the new industrial standards.
Chen and Zhang The Journal of Chinese Sociology (2016) 3:7 Page 17 of 19
A merger is different from a shutdown in that coal mines merge with other mines
instead of being shut down comple tely.
Since mine owners were dissatisfied with the forced shutdown and the government
also knew that many mines had the heavy burden of repaying loans and debts, the actual
first installments of compensation funds were all above 60 % except for mines involved in
The L County Bureau of Labor and Social Security, April 2014, Report on the
Current Conditions of Coal Mine Workers Social Insurance.
In fact, during my fieldwo rk, various stakeholders considered themselves disadvan-
taged groups whose interests were ruined, and it is hard to make value judgments. The
workers suddenly lost their jobs, so they should be compensated. Coal mine owners tried to
undertake technological upgrading at a huge cost in order to meet state standards but were
forced to shut down and suffered great losses. The county government considered policies
from the higher levels of government unreasonable but was required to implement them,
only to lose significant fiscal revenues and face many social conflicts as a result of workers
petitions. The tensions between the demands of these three stakeholders reflect the compli-
cated situation regarding policy implementation in grassroots society.
Competing interests
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Authors contributions
The authors contributions are unequal. The first author JC is responsible for writing the paper, and the second author
QZ is responsible for collecting the data and government documents about the research case. Both authors read and
approved the final manuscript.
This research is sponsored by the National Social Science Fund of China(15CSH049), "project system and the providing
of public goods in Chinese rural areas". Earlier versions of this paper were presented to the Conference on
Urbanization and Society Building, Shanghai University, July 2013. The authors are grateful for the comments
received from all participators.
Received: 28 October 2015 Accepted: 20 April 2016
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... Implemntasi kebijakan secara umum merupakan penerapan aturan yang dimainkan oleh para aktor yang memiliki tanggung jawab dalam melaksanakan kebijkan tersebut. Aktor yang memiliki pengaruh dalam implementasi adalah secara khusus para pegawai birokrasi (Chen, 2019). Dalam pelaksanaan implentasi kebijakan secara nampak bahwa perilaku para pelaksana dan budaya organisasi turut menentukan (Lane1, Jan Erik and Wallis, Joe, 2017). ...
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Stunting merupakan masalah penting bagi pemerintah yang perlu ditangani mulai dari tingkat lokal, regional, hingga nasional. Salah satu daerah yang memiliki kecenderungan komitmen yang tinggi dalam upaya mengatasi dan mengurangi stunting saat ini adalah Kabupaten Purbalingga. Dalam rangka memerangi dan menurunkan angka stunting di Kabupaten Purbalingga. Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk mendeskripsikan bagaimana proses implementasi kebijakan dilakukan dari sisi aturan, pihakpihak yang terlibat dalam proses implementasi kebijakan, organisasi pelaksana kebijakan dan analisis lingkungan yang mempengaruhi proses pelaksanaan kebijakan. Penelitian ini mencoba melihat proses implementasi kebijakan dari sisi buttom up dimana peran masyarakat dan kelompok organisasi terlibat secara aktif dalam pelaksanaan kebijakan terkait dengan penanggulangan stunting di Kabupaten Purbalingga. Penelitian ini menggunakan metode deskriptif kualitatif dengan sumber informan, teknik triangulasi data, dan teknik analisis data. Kemampuan mencocokkan data menggunakan teknik pengambilan sampel menjadi fokus utama penelitian ini. Hasil penelitian dilihat dari temuan studi ini didasarkan pada skenario kebijakan yang diidealkan di mana inisiatif pencegahan stunting Kabupaten Purbalingga mengikuti pedoman yang digariskan dalam peraturan daerah dan keputusan bupati. Masyarakat yang menjadi sasaran program pencegahan stunting merupakan kelompok sasaran dalam kebijakan ini. Kelompok pelaksana, khususnya kelompok pemerintah yang juga tergabung dalam organisasi terkait, organisasi komunitas psikiatri, dan organisasi masyarakat. Aspek sosial dan ekonomi masyarakat terkait dengan faktor lingkungan yang dialami selama pelaksanaan kebijakan pengendalian stunting. Kondisi kekurangan gizi menjadi penyebab stunting erat kaitannya dengan keadaan sosial ekonomi mereka yang berpenghasilan rendah. Implementasi kebijakan penanggulangan stunting di Kabupaten Purbalingga dianggap berhasil karena pola penaggunalangannya lebih menitikberatkan pada berbagai aspek agar bisa dilaksanakan dengan baik baim dari sisi kebijakan, pihak dan organisasi yang terlibat dan faktor lingkungan
... One area concerns the relationship between rule making and rule enforcement. Studies have focused on the deviation of rule enforcement from rule making, such as variant enforcement (Wang et al. 1997), selective enforcement (O'Brien and Li 1999), and fluctuating enforcement (Chen and Zhang 2015), with explanations surrounding high enforcement costs, enforcer's interest preferences, incomplete rules, and insufficient applicability. However, such studies concern the manner or intensity of enforcement of a given rule, but they are not able to explain the existence of competing rules and the oscillation between rules. ...
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This article discusses the uncertainty of risk-sharing rules in local financial governance. That is, when the formal risk-sharing rules of financial transactions are agreed upon in advance, actual operations are uncertain. First, the institutional contradiction at the macro-level is an important structural source of the uncertain rules at the micro-level. Second, institutional contradictions endow actors with conflicting bases of legitimacy and driving forces of interest, which induces games of norms and interests among investors, local governments, and intermediaries with regard to risk-sharing rules and leads to the competitive pattern of varied risk-sharing rules. Last, the combination of multiple legitimacy claims and multiple mechanisms of power competition leads to uncertainty in the risk-sharing rules of actual operations.
... However, it is crucial to note that public policies in China are developed at higher levels and implemented at lower levels (O'brien and Li 2017). The grassroots government serves as the brokerage between the state and society and is the focus of the explanation of policy implementation bias and related governance issues (Chen and Zhang 2016). As a result, breaking away from the traditional unified perspective of government and considering grassroots government and higher-level government as two kinds of stakeholders will help distinguish the different roles played by both in the process of crop residue governance. ...
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Open burning of crop residue is a hot issue in Asia and has attracted widespread attention. However, this attention rarely extends to the complex interactions between multi-stakeholders in the governance process, which is precisely the focus of today’s environmental governance dilemma. Harbin is a major grain-producing area in China, the annual air pollution caused by the open burning of crop straw is more prominent than in other parts of China, and the conflicting relationships among multi-stakeholders are also typical. Taking Harbin as a case, this study quantifies the complex relationships among stakeholders through value demands conflicts and constructs a value conflict network in the context of straw governance. Through the analysis of the network nodes and relationships, we found that grassroots governments and farmers are the core of the conflict, while public and higher-level governments, as supervisory subjects, are marginalized. The multiple identities and value demands of the grassroots government, as well as cost and technology constraints, are the main reasons for the governance dilemma. In addition, the grassroots government in different scenario dimensions has different conflict resolution strategies, and it has a strong self-adaptation ability in the embedded value conflict network and can influence and reshape other stakeholders. These findings highlight the critical role of the grassroots government in crop residue governance, add to the research paradigm on grassroots environmental management from a multiple-stakeholder participation perspective, and provide a theoretical and methodological basis to formulate effective strategies.
... This makes the grassroots a critical functional unit of the society, wherein the effectiveness of the framework and processes of its local governance is imperative for the sustainable development of the country and well-being of the communities. However, the different types of law implementations at grass root levels may cause public policies to fluctuate due to the low level of applicability of policies in the local contexts and changes in pressure from above create social conflicts and governance problems (Chen and Zhang 2016). Currently, the interactions between the people and the environment create growing environmental insecurities, which means not having enough food, water, and natural resources to live in, and can fuel increases in wildlife crime. ...
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In the Philippines, the coastal and marine areas in its numerous small islands provide food, minerals, raw materials, and others contribute significantly to the country’s GDP. However, its environmental governance at the grassroots level is poorly studied. Hence, this study aims to: monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Area Specific Activity Plan (ASAP) of the identified barangays/municipalities; assess the enforcement of environmental laws, namely: a) solid waste management, b) fishery and c) forestry at the barangays of Palawan; and identify the factors which influence the implementation of environmental plans and laws at the barangay level. This study gathered data among 194 respondents from six municipalities and 59 barangays across Palawan. The result shows that the implementation of the environmental plan of activities of municipalities and barangays ranged from "most of the proposed activities are implemented" to "all of the activities are implemented," indicating a high implementation rate of plans and laws across the barangays of Palawan. There are 15 issues and concerns in the implementation of the ASAP, categorize into five factors: funding, capability, legislative, political will, and IEC. The most common factors are funding, capability, legislative, followed by IEC and political will. Gender equity must be factored-in in plans and strategies.
... Premier Li Keqiang also stressed that promoting the reform and development of health and family planning should be related to the physical and mental health of the people, and that relations should be built into a well-off society in an all-round way, and that better medical and health services should be provided around the needs of the people, so as to make new contributions to the early establishment of China as a healthy and powerful country. In addition, I think that the formulation and perfection of medical security policy is also an important embodiment of the inner values of the Communist Party of China's symbiosis in Mao Zedong's methodology, and also the specific application of value rationality in the field of medical security (Chen & Zhang, 2016). ...
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The main purpose of this study is to explore the potential of interdisciplinary research in public management in the perspective of social security and medical policy of China. Chinese social security and medical policy is used as a case study. This paper selects two major areas of social security policy and medical policy, and engages in interdisciplinary research in public management. First, the theory of reality and insight in Mao Zedong Thought Methodology as the theoretical basis has been selected. Then the definition and essence of social security policy and medical policy has been explained focusing the major problems, similarities and differences between the two policies. It analyzes two policy research paths, perspectives and methods. Finally, it expounds the relationship between two policies and public management theory and practice research and its enlightenment.
... Additionally, 'the competing interests of various levels of government are a central factor in explaining major deviations in policy implementation'. In an analysis of Chen and Zhang 2016, it has been found that for maximisation of local fiscal revenues -'revenue-driven administrators', 'local governments tended to implement State policies that would reduce fiscal revenues perfunctorily or even refused to implement them' (Chen & Zhang 2016). The response of China's disinterested and development oriented Party leadership has been to increase oversight and accountability to the Politburo, China's main policymaking committee. ...
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This article seeks to understand how China has managed to achieve such high rates of growth over the past four decades despite the absence of a veritable rule of law. A large body of research suggests that a strong rule of law is a key prerequisite for sustained economic development, but China's unique political economy which vests limited power in its judiciary seems to defy conventional wisdom on this count. Taking as a starting point Yang Yao's concept of ‘disinterested government’, that is, a government that eschews differentiated interests within a society in favour of a concerted focus on national development, the authors examine the mechanisms by which Chinese leadership has maintained extraordinary growth without the benefit of the rule of law. Specifically, this article argues that the defining features of a disinterested government fulfil many of the same roles as the rule of law from a developmental perspective.
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Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk menganalisis secara lebih mendalam mengenai Implementasi Peraturan Daerah Kabupaten Banyumas tentang Rencana Detail Tata Ruang Kawasan Perkotaan Purwokerto Nomor 6 Tahun 2019. Penelitian ini dilakukan dengan menggunakan metode penelitian kualitatif dengan bentuk pendekatan studi kasus yang dilaksanakan di Kabupaten Banyumas. Hasil penelitian ini menunjukkan bahwa pada aspek Idealized policy digunakan untuk mengendalikan pemanfaatan ruang, penataan ruang dan lingkungan serta mencakup materi pokok seperti ketentuan program terkait dengan bangunan dan lingkungan sebagai panduan dalam rancang bangunan suatu lingkungan/kawasan. Kemudian pada aspek target groups menunjukkan bahwa implementasi kebijakan tata ruang perkotaan berupaya melakukan pendekatan oleh semua pihak melalui forum musyawarah dan publik hearing. Sementara aspek Implementing organization menunjukkan bahwa pihak-pihak yang terlibat dalam implementasi kebijakan tata ruang wilayah perkotaan terdiri dari unsur pemerintah daerah Kabupaten Banyumas, DPRD Kabupaten Banyumas, masyarakat, pihak swasta, Camat, Lurah, dan pada aspek Environmental factors berhasil mengidentifikasikan keberhasilan dari implementasi kebijakan tata ruang wilayah perkotaan dari sisi lingkungan sosial masyarakat dan lingkungan birokrasi sebagai pelaksana kebijakan tata ruang wilayah perkotaan Purwokerto.
Grassroots policy implementation is an important link in China’s governance practice. Previous studies have analyzed the causes of divergence from policy goals or distorted implementation from the perspective of administrative control, or explored the impact of informal institutions on policy processes from the perspective of policy mobilization. However, both perspectives incline to static or fragmentary analysis and tend to be confined within the bureaucracy, ignoring the government’s mobilization of society. Our case study analysis of County T in Province Z shows that people engaged in implementing grassroots policy can develop varying mobilization strategies on the basis of different combinations of administrative control and social mobilization capacity. In the course of policy implementation, the boundaries and relationships between hierarchical control and social mobilization and between government departments and grassroots society can evolve according to the requirements of policy performance. This implementation process is generally expressed as “adaptive social mobilization.” Our findings could lead to a rethinking of the nature of social governance in contemporary China and explain the paradox of the simultaneous strengthening of administrative control and social participation.
Insurance industry facilitates the users to access the information easily in their jobs without the repetition of password and remember the multiple passwords. Current technology attracts the insurers in authentication process. The identity authentification processes requires the customers to jump through the many hoops, which construct an unpleasant customer experience. The proposed method reduces the challenges in insurance business data using the classification algorithms using the support vector machine (SVM)for the mobile Applications since the growing trend in mobile apps will make it easy for the users. A seasonal variations and correlation in this financial time series data using statistical methods and ultimately generate trading signals for the insurance data. The feature extraction process increases the user security. The classification process improves different level of user identity. The support vector machine increases the data validation process quickly. Finally the proposed work enhances the user authentication process. The frame work is implemented using the matlabR2014 software and results were simulated for mobile apps.
Using the concept of ‘hedging’, we explore how local cadres in China deviate from central policies in order to serve local interests and, while doing so, avoid being called to account by their superiors. Political signals enable cadres to decide when to invest more resources into the implementation of certain policies. In this way, they optimize their performance and avoid the political risks involved in failing to carry out their designated tasks. This article uses county Y as an example in a discussion of county-level implementation of policies related to economic growth and air pollution control. We find that local cadres weaken the functions of the superior ‘special inspection team’ (专项督察组, hereafter inspection team), treating them as political instruments used by the central and local authorities to ensure a greater level of responsiveness at the grass roots. Information concerning the imminent arrival of an inspection team in their locality acts as a signal for cadres to allocate more resources to the enforcement of air pollution control measures, thus maximizing their performance in this area. Through this research, we have endeavoured to provide a deeper understanding of the operating logic of Chinese local governments and the behaviour of county cadres.
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Public administration has long considered the administrative agency as the core institution shaping action. But specialists in policy implementation, in particular, have suggested that networks spanning multiple organizations may be important phenomena. National legislation from two Congresses is analyzed to determine the kinds of structures explicitly stipulated or encouraged for new or amended programs. The most important questions have to do with the extent to which single-agency or networked (multiactor) structures are used and the relative degree to which intergovernmental versus intragovernmental programs are prominent. The evidence shows that the great majority of legislation requires multiactor structures spanning governments, sectors, and/or agencies; intergovernmental programs are especially prominent; and the multiactor character of the structures has remained relatively constant. These findings carry implications for the study and practice of public administration.
First published in 1980, Street-Level Bureaucracy received critical acclaim for its insightful study of how public service workers, in effect, function as policy decision makers, as they wield their considerable discretion in the day-to-day implementation of public programs. Three decades later, the need to bolster the availability and effectiveness of healthcare, social services, education, and law enforcement is as urgent as ever. In this thirtieth anniversary expanded edition, Michael Lipsky revisits the territory he mapped out in the first edition to reflect on significant policy developments over the last several decades. Despite the difficulties of managing these front-line workers, he shows how street-level bureaucracies can be and regularly are brought into line with public purposes. Street-level bureaucrats-from teachers and police officers to social workers and legal-aid lawyers-interact directly with the public and so represent the frontlines of government policy. In Street-Level Bureaucracy, Lipsky argues that these relatively low-level public service employees labor under huge caseloads, ambiguous agency goals, and inadequate resources. When combined with substantial discretionary authority and the requirement to interpret policy on a case-by-case basis, the difference between government policy in theory and policy in practice can be substantial and troubling. The core dilemma of street-level bureaucrats is that they are supposed to help people or make decisions about them on the basis of individual cases, yet the structure of their jobs makes this impossible. Instead, they are forced to adopt practices such as rationing resources, screening applicants for qualities their organizations favor, "rubberstamping" applications, and routinizing client interactions by imposing the uniformities of mass processing on situations requiring human responsiveness. Occasionally, such strategies work out in favor of the client. But the cumulative effect of street-level decisions made on the basis of routines and simplifications about clients can reroute the intended direction of policy, undermining citizens' expectations of evenhanded treatment. This seminal, award-winning study tells a cautionary tale of how decisions made by overburdened workers translate into ad-hoc policy adaptations that impact peoples' lives and life opportunities. Lipsky maintains, however, that these problems are not insurmountable. Over the years, public managers have developed ways to bring street-level performance more in line with agency goals. This expanded edition of Street-Level Bureaucracy underscores that, despite its challenging nature, street-level work can be made to conform to higher expectations of public service.
While policy implementation no longer frames the core question of public management and public policy, some scholars have debated appropriate steps for revitalization. And the practical world stands just as much in need now of valid knowledge about policy implementation as ever. Where has all the policy implementation gone? Or at least all the scholarly signs of it? And why? What has the field accomplished? Should a resurgence of attention to the subject be exhorted? And if so, in what directions? This article considers these questions as foci of an assessment of the state of the field, and the argument reaches somewhat unconventional conclusions: There is more here than meets the eye. While modest to moderate progress can be noted on a number of fronts, an initial assessment is likely to understate the extent of work underway on matters quite close to the implementation theme. Research on policy implementation-like questions has partially transmogrified. One has to look, sometimes, in unusual places and be informed by a broader logic of intellectual development to make sense of the relevant scholarship. Policy implementation work, in short, continues to bear relevance for important themes of policy and management. But some of the discourse has shifted, the questions have broadened, and the agenda has become complicated. Research on implementation, under whatever currently fashionable labels, is alive and lively.
Theories of the Policy Process provides a forum for the proponents of the most promising and widely used theories to present the basic propositions of their frameworks, to assess the empirical evidence that has developed over the past decade.