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|Title: ||Status of law and corruption control in post-reform China|
|Other Titles: ||Gai ge kai fang hou Zhongguo de fa lü di wei yu fu bai kong zhi|
|Authors: ||Jiang, Guoping (江國平)|
|Department: ||Department of Applied Social Studies|
|Degree: ||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Issue Date: ||2008|
|Publisher: ||City University of Hong Kong|
|Subjects: ||Political corruption -- China -- Law and legislation.|
Bribery -- China -- Law and legislation.
Misconduct in office -- China -- Law and legislation.
|Notes: ||CityU Call Number: KNQ4516 .J53 2008|
viii, 435 leaves 30 cm.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2008.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 407-425)
|Abstract: ||Corruption has been persistent in human history for thousands of years. From
the Alpis to the Yangtze River, from biblical time to post-modern era, it features our
societies all the time. Since the early days of Chinese Confucian civilization,
corruption has been puzzling China. When Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平) came to power,
he stressed more on economic development and less on ideological struggle.
Therefore a new policy of “Open and Reform” was implemented in 1978 targeting a
market economy system. The policy was successful regarding to the economic
development. People in China enjoyed a better life. However, the new policy not
only brought a booming economy to China, but also negative side-effects, such as
corruption and crimes. It is so rampant that “in the post-Mao era, political corruption
has become one of the central concerns, even an obsession, for the citizens of the
People’s Republic of China” (Hsu, 2001:27).
Although corruption is a universal phenomenon, there is no well accepted
definition for it. The existing definitions (moral perspective, legal perspective, P-A-C
perspective, rent-seeking perspective, and public culture perspective) reflect
particular aspects of corruption, and provide insights for corruption research.
However, these approaches share one assumption that individuals do something
wrong according to ruling group’ standards or the dominant values. A commonly
missed point in their analyses is that the ruling group’s standards or interests
considerations are never challenged. It might be overstated to refer it to “false
consciousness”, but it is inappropriate not questioning ruling group’s ideology and
entrenched interests at all. “Given the impossibility of using the social categories of
crime and deviance as scientific categories or observational terms with definable,
constant and consistent behavioral referents, it makes most sense to treat them as
elements of highly contextualized moral and political discourses, i.e. negative
ideological categories with specific, historical applications” (Sumner 1990:26). Based on that, rather than analyzing corruption following ruling group’s logic, Lo
(1993) examines corruption in societal (social, political and economic) structures and
historical background with the ruling group’s interests and political economy such as
power, class, ideology, conflict, institution and culture taken into account. His
finding shows that it is unconvincing if not to challenge the class bias in corruption
research, and it is more appropriate to treat corruption as “a form of social censure”
which is a negative category of moral ideology created and enforced by the ruling
group in societies (Lo 1993:3). Such a macro perspective helps to avoid class biases
because it goes beyond it by rejecting ruling group’s normative assumption or
behavioral prerequisite about corruption and therefore exposes the essence or nature
of corruption which is overlooked in the former definitions.
If corruption were a special form of social censure, it would serve the ruling
group in nature. The ruling group’s ultimate goal is to maintain hegemony. All other
goals or considerations are subject to it or serve it, including anticorruption.
Therefore the ruling group or political elites will take many other issues into account
in the process of anticorruption, such as establishing legitimacy, gaining public
support, winning power struggle, and personnel arrangement, for the reason of
hegemony. In addition, the ruling group is not always a coherent group. There are
fragmentations and sub-groups within it, and the dominant faction always controls
the social censure. The dominant faction exists at various levels such as central
government, provincial government, municipal government, and county government.
On the one hand, they want to maintain the whole ruling group’ hegemony; on the
other hand, they have their own entrenched interests to consider. For example, in
most cases, the censure on corruption is “instruments with which party leaders
pursue ideological and political struggles” (Lo 1993:155). With the ultimate goal of
hegemony and various aims or considerations in consideration, the censure on
corruption is hard to be consistent across the nation. In this sense, anticorruption is
just application of social censure, and cannot be successful.
However, there are many clean governments around the world including Ice Island, Finland, Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Why are they clean given the
“bad” nature of corruption? Our preliminary research suggests that status of law
might play an important role in the censure on corruption. The censure on corruption
would be different if law is highly respected (namely rule of law) or highly
disrespected (rule by law or rule of man). The rule of law basically means a complete
and well publicized legislation, independent judicial system and fair law enforcement.
Without rule of law, the censure on corruption in mainland China is conditioned by
too many political considerations and personal interference, and therefore faces
To test the above theoretical propositions, the author conducted both
quantitative and qualitative research in Mainland China. More than 1100
questionnaires were collected from three universities which are located in the north,
middle and south China. Eighteen in-depth interviews were done with imprisoned
corrupt officials and officials in power.
Both quantitative and qualitative data tend to suggest that the theoretical
imagination that corruption in essence is a form of social censure which serves the
ruling group or political elites in society. In post-reform China, they targeted specific
behaviors or groups, and created a form of social censure for their interests or
ideology. To maximum the interests and maintain hegemony to the largest extent,
they also manipulated the judicial process and distorted the justice. The rule of law
could constrain the manipulation on the social censure, but data suggest that the
post-reform China is only rule by law state wherein the law is instrumental to the
ruling group, governments and political elites. The rule by law allows arbitrariness in
the creation and application of social censure by the ruling group or political elites.
The nature of pro-ruling class as a political tool is explained and illustrated in full in
post-reform China with many documentary cases and interview cases. Given this,
bizarre anticorruption outcomes and rampancy of corruption are unavoidable in
post-reform mainland China.|
|Online Catalog Link: ||http://lib.cityu.edu.hk/record=b2340677|
|Appears in Collections:||SS - Doctor of Philosophy |
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