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Decentralization and veiled corruption under China's "rule of mandates"

Birney, Mayling (2014) Decentralization and veiled corruption under China's "rule of mandates". World Development, 53. pp. 55-67. ISSN 0305-750X

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2013.01.006


This paper shows why corruption is especially difficult to detect under China’s system of decentralized authoritarian rule, which I call a “rule of mandates.” Local officials must pursue high priority political targets but have immense discretion over which laws to implement. A relative standard for corruption consequently arises since non-implementation of laws may be mandate-serving or may be corrupt; and determining which requires extra information on why non-implementation occurred. The theory is supported by evidence from original survey and case research on the implementation of the village elections law. I discuss implications for anticorruption efforts, development patterns, and future research.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 08 May 2013 08:53
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2024 19:39
Funders: The Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines

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