State and market in public service provision : Opportunities and traps for institutional change in rural China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-278
Journal / PublicationPacific Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


International experience tells that public services often fail to work for those in need. To make things work requires complex institutional changes that are difficult to come by, let alone sustain. This paper examines the situation of rural public service provision in China and a local attempt to revamp the service provision institution through adjusting the mix of state and the market. It reveals the dialectical process of policy evolution whereby innovation, and resistance to it, has emerged.

Research Area(s)

  • China, Institutional change, Public service unit reform, Public services for the poor, Township government reform