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Does Xi Jinping’s Anticorruption Campaign Improve Regime Legitimacy?
Abstract: Using interview data from a medium Chinese city collected in Dec. 2015, this paper assesses the impact of Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign on the Chinese public’s perception of corruption and relatedly, regime legitimacy. We argue that the campaign has mixed effects: it has had more effects in cracking down on high-level officials and the “three public consumptions,” but it has had less effects in controlling the types of corruption that affect citizens' lives more directly. Thus the campaign has helped to enhance public satisfaction with anti-corruption at the national level, but less so at the local level or with anti-corruption mechanisms in general. The latter trends will continue to affect public perception of corruption and its associated impact on regime legitimacy, but serious damages will be mitigated by perceived anti-corruption success at the national level and expectations for trickle-down effects on anti-corruption at the local level.
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ISSN 2160-0295 (Print)
ISSN 2160-0317 (Online)