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6 - Xi Jinping’s Campaign and the End of Political Liberalization

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 March 2022

Christopher Carothers
Affiliation:
University of Pennsylvania
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Summary

Chapter 6 presents a case study of Xi Jinping’s wide-ranging anti-corruption campaign. By all accounts, corruption continued to grow in China throughout the 1990s and 2000s and became among the public’s largest governance concerns. Xi and other party leaders believed that the combination under the Hu Jintao administration of policy failings like the spread of corruption, risky political liberalization, and general party weakness was precipitating a crisis in the CCP’s ability to govern. Since 2012, Xi has pursued anti-corruption campaign as part of his broader mission to restore party discipline and reassert party leadership over China’s state and society. I argue that his administration’s campaign, though not yet finished, has already been successful in curbing corruption. Furthermore, corruption was curbed under Xi using decidedly authoritarian methods. Benefiting Xi was the fact that he has faced far fewer constraints on his leadership than Hu Jintao or Jiang Zemin did early in their administrations. The larger political implication of my findings in this chapter is that Xi is succeeding in strengthening CCP organization and discipline, which likely helps prolong one-party rule.

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Chapter
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Corruption Control in Authoritarian Regimes
Lessons from East Asia
, pp. 172 - 196
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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