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Tongtong Zhang

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Graduate Student Research Funding | 2018 - 2019 Academic Year

Fining for Living: Central-Local Struggle in the Relaxation of One-Child Policy

When the economic interests of local officials conflict with those of their autocrats in policy-making, will local officials resist the center’s policy initiative and how? In return, how do autocrats overcome local resistance to push for their policy agenda? Conventional wisdom holds that autocrats monopolize the formulation of national policies and local bureaucrats are largely inconsequential in this process. However, the relaxation of one-child policy shows otherwise, where local bureaucrats resist the relaxation out of a desire to protect their income from fines. Using this policy change as a case study, this project combines field interviews, experiments, and textual analysis.

Tongtong Zhang, Department of Political Science

Tongtong Zhang

Tongtong Zhang is a PhD candidate in political science at Stanford University, concentrating on comparative politics and methodology. Her research focuses on participatory institutions and public opinion in authoritarian regime, with a regional focus on China. Zhang's dissertation examines the sources of variation in digital participatory institutions across authoritarian countries, as well as the consequences of these institutions on mass opinion and political participation. Zhang earned a BA in international relations and economics from Peking University, China in 2011 and an MA degree in international affairs from Columbia University in 2014. Before joining the PhD program at Stanford, she worked as an internal auditor at IBM Corporation based in Beijing.

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