in S Rose-Ackerman & P Felipe Lagunes (eds), Greed, Corruption, and the Modern State (Edward Elgar, 2015) 134-157
Corruption closely correlates with legitimacy. While a perceived pervasive, endemic corruption undermines the legitimacy of a regime, a successful anti-corruption campaign can allow a regime to recover from a crisis of legitimacy. This is the rationale behind the periodical campaigns against corruption that have been conducted by the Chinese Communist Party. Political leaders in China have found it expedient to use anti-corruption campaigns to remove their political foes, to rein in the bureaucracy and to restore public confidence in their ability to rule. Through anti-corruption campaigns, emerging political leaders consolidate their political power, secure loyalty from political factions and regional political forces, and enhance their legitimacy in the eyes of the general public. This paper provides broadly outlines the political nature of the Party’s anti-corruption campaign and the way in which corruption and anti-corruption are used as tools for the concentration of political power. Click here to download the full chapter.