Zelda Hanyu Zhao

2022-23 Graduate Student Associate; 2021-22 Desmond and Whitney Shum Fellow; PhD in Government, Harvard University


Zelda Zhao is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Government at Harvard University. Her dissertation project, “Leviathan at the Grassroots: Bureaucratic Overload and Grassroots Governance in China,” tackles the puzzle of bureaucratic overload in grassroots governance by investigating (a) the causes and manifestations of overload faced by grassroots bureaucrats, (b) its impact on cadre behavior and governance outcomes, and (c) the official remedy and its limits. Her research seeks to develop in-depth knowledge of the operations of the Chinese Party-state at the grassroots and to better understand the inner logic of the Chinese political and bureaucratic system.

Research Interests: Authoritarianism, Regime Durability, Governance and Bureaucracy, Contemporary Chinese Politics