Street-Level Bureaucracy and the Over-Standardization of Policy Implementation: An Analysis of Urban Management through the Destruction of Merchant Couplets

Liufei Meng


In grassroots governance, standardization not only serves as a fundamental component of an efficient bureaucratic system but also functions as a crucial mechanism ensuring that frontline personnel are accountable to both superiors and the general populace. However, in certain regions, there is a trend towards "over-standardization." From a macro perspective, this is primarily attributed to internal bureaucratic logics and external pressures. From a micro perspective, it often arises from strategic choices made by a minority of street-level bureaucrats. To address the issue of "over-standardization," interventions should focus on enhancing the scientific level of goal-setting, refining the precision of accountability mechanisms, and rectifying the goal-oriented nature of performance evaluations.

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