Localized Legitimacy: Grassroots Bureaucrats’ Complicated Interpretation of State’s Image

Kellogg Institute Graduate Research Grants
Grant Year

Although the state would like to establish itself as the general representative of the public interest of the people and prescribe the correct way of doing things in any given area of social life, in practice, there is always a widespread debate about what is the right way of acting. Faced with fierce conflicts between officially issued formal rules and socially shared informal rules, grassroots officials developed a variety of different “localized legitimacies" in order to get their job done. By comparing the different practices of grassroots officials in the implementation of the Targeted Poverty Alleviation policy in approximately one hundred villages in China, this project aims to explore the ways in which localized legitimacy is established and the factors that influence them.