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Article: Weapons of the Powerful: Authoritarian Elite Competition and Politicized Anticorruption in China

TitleWeapons of the Powerful: Authoritarian Elite Competition and Politicized Anticorruption in China
Authors
Issue Date2016
Citation
Comparative Political Studies,  How to Cite?
AbstractWhat motivates authoritarian regimes to crack down on corruption? We argue that just as partisan competition in democracies tends to politicize corruption, authoritarian leaders may exploit anticorruption campaigns to target rival supporters during internal power struggles for consolidating their power base. We apply this theoretical framework to provincial leadership turnover in China and test it using an anticorruption data set. We find that intraelite power competition, captured by the informal power configuration of government incumbents and their predecessors, can increase investigations of corrupt senior officials by up to 20%. The intensity of anticorruption propaganda exhibits a similar pattern. The findings indicate that informal politics can propel strong anticorruption drives in countries without democratically-accountable institutions, although the drives tend to be selective, arbitrary, and factionally biased.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/234282

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorZhu, J-
dc.contributor.authorZhang, D-
dc.date.accessioned2016-10-14T07:00:19Z-
dc.date.available2016-10-14T07:00:19Z-
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.identifier.citationComparative Political Studies, -
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/234282-
dc.description.abstractWhat motivates authoritarian regimes to crack down on corruption? We argue that just as partisan competition in democracies tends to politicize corruption, authoritarian leaders may exploit anticorruption campaigns to target rival supporters during internal power struggles for consolidating their power base. We apply this theoretical framework to provincial leadership turnover in China and test it using an anticorruption data set. We find that intraelite power competition, captured by the informal power configuration of government incumbents and their predecessors, can increase investigations of corrupt senior officials by up to 20%. The intensity of anticorruption propaganda exhibits a similar pattern. The findings indicate that informal politics can propel strong anticorruption drives in countries without democratically-accountable institutions, although the drives tend to be selective, arbitrary, and factionally biased.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.relation.ispartofComparative Political Studies-
dc.titleWeapons of the Powerful: Authoritarian Elite Competition and Politicized Anticorruption in China-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailZhu, J: zhujn@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityZhu, J=rp01624-
dc.identifier.hkuros267595-

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