Old wine in new bottles: a county-level case study of anti-corruption reform in the People’s Republic of China
- 682 Downloads
This paper examines the role of the target-based responsibility system for building upright Party style and clean government in combating corruption in local China. It argues that the effectiveness of the target-based responsibility system in corruption control is compromised by a number of implementation hurdles in practice. Based on a close examination of one county, Shaanxi Province in the northwest China, this study shows that low measurability of the targets, the conflict between anti-corruption work and other evaluation targets, and the impact of patronage politics account for the implementation failure of the target-based responsibility system. The fundamental problem lies in that under China’s unified cadre personnel management system, political will can interfere with the handling of corruption on a case-by-case basis, no matter what kind of anti-corruption mechanism is employed. Under this context, the adoption of the target-based responsibility system in fighting corruption results in nothing more than “pouring old wine into new bottles.”
KeywordsMoral Education Corrupt Behavior Party Committee Corruption Case Corruption Control
- 2.Chan, H.S. & Gao, J. (2007). Performance management in a Marxist-Leninist state: One local government in the People’s Republic of China. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
- 5.Gong, T. (1994). The politics of corruption in contemporary China: an analysis of policy outcomes. Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
- 9.Karklins, R. (2005). The system made me do it: Corruption in post-communist societies. New York: M.E. Sharpe.Google Scholar
- 10.Manion, M. (1999). Corruption by design: Corruption control through enforcement swamping. Paper presented at the American Political Science Association annual meeting, Atlanta, September.Google Scholar
- 11.O’Brien, K., & Li, L.J. (1999). Selective policy implementation in rural China. Comparative Political Studies, 10(66), 167–187.Google Scholar
- 12.People’s Handbook (1952). Beijing: Beijing People’s Publishing House, (in Chinese).Google Scholar
- 13.Peters, G., & Savoie, D. (2000). Governance in the twenty-first century: Revitalizing the public service. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.Google Scholar
- 14.Pingliang City Party Committee and City Government (2006). Report on the fulfillment of the target-based responsibility system on building party style and clean government in Pingliang City in 2005. Available at: http://www.pingliang.gov.cn/PingLiangWebSite/suborganization/document_information_detail.jsp?orgId=16&i_DocId=1558&styleCSS=1&tag=WJZL. Retrieved date: 9 September 2007.
- 15.Shaanxi Provincial Government (2005). Concrete opinions on task division of implementing the system of preventing corruption by education, institution building, and supervision (in Chinese). Internal document.Google Scholar
- 16.Supreme People’s Procuratorate. Work Report of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. Available at: http://www.spp.gov.cn. Retrieved date: 30 August 2007.
- 17.Wedeman, A. (2004). The intensification of corruption in China. The China Quarterly, 180, 859–921.Google Scholar
- 19.Weiyang District Government (2004). Notification about the implementation method of the objective responsibility system for offices and organizations under Weiyang District (in Chinese). Internal document.Google Scholar
- 20.White, G. (1996). Corruption and the transition from socialism in China. In M. Levi & D. Nelken (Eds.), The corruption of politics and the politics of corruption (pp. 149–169). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- 21.Xi’an City Government (2003). Notice about the implementation method of the objective responsibility system for offices and organizations under Xi’an City (in Chinese). Internal document.Google Scholar
- 22.Xi’an City Government (2006). Outline of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development of Xi’an Municipal (in Chinese). Available at: http://www.xa.gov.cn. Retrieved date: 30 August 2007.
- 23.Xi’an Local Tax Bureaus Commission (2007). Performance contract on building Party style and clean government in the Xi’an local tax system in 2007 (in Chinese). Internal Document.Google Scholar
- 24.Zhao, S.K. (2005). Townships under the “inverse accountability system.” China Reform, 2, 57–58, (in Chinese).Google Scholar
- 25.Zhouzhi County Discipline Inspection Commission (2007a). List of target-based responsibilities on building Party style and anti-corruption work in Zhouzhi County. Internal document.Google Scholar
- 26.Zhouzhi County Discipline Inspection Commission (2007b). Work report in 2007(in Chinese). Internal document.Google Scholar
- 27.Zhouzhi County Finance Bureau. (2007). List of division of responsibility of Zhouzhi County Finance Bureau for the task for building Party style and clean Government and anti-corruption work (in Chinese). Internal document.Google Scholar
- 28.Zhouzhi County Government (1991). Performance contract of the Forestry Bureau in 1991 (in Chinese). Internal document.Google Scholar
- 29.Zhouzhi County Government (1998). Performance contract of the Forestry Bureau in 1998 (in Chinese). Internal document.Google Scholar
- 30.Zhouzhi County Government (2006). Outline of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development of Zhouzhi County (in Chinese). Available at: http://www.zhouzhi.gov.cn. Retrieved date: 5 September 2007.
- 31.Zhouzhi County Local Tax Bureau (2007). Performance contract on building Party style and clean government in 2007 (in Chinese). Internal document.Google Scholar