To bolster its legitimacy, China's authoritarian regime has launched numerous anticorruption campaigns. Many of these anticorruption campaigns seemed tainted by intra-elite competition and only effective at deterring low- and mid-level cadres (i.e., 'flies'). Yet, Xi's campaign differs notably from previous ones in his targeting of senior officials (i.e., 'tigers') and introduction of institutional changes. By integrating anti-corruption data with three waves of nationwide surveys conducted in 36 major cities in China (2011, 2012, and 2015), we explore and compare the impacts of anti-corruption campaigns on popular political support under Hu and Xi. Our analysis shows that the overall popular support has declined steadily overtime, despite the positive effects of Xi's anti-corruption campaign. Specifically, ordinary Chinese did react positively to Xi's anticorruption campaign. Xi's campaign, particularly his crackdown on 'tigers,' increased people's trust in the central government. However, the campaign fell short in restoring the decline of central and local government legitimacy.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Japanese Journal of Political Science|
|Early online date||18 May 2022|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Sep 2022|
- public opinion
- regime support
- authoritarian politics