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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: © 2014 The Author
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Sets: Departments > International Development
Departments > Government
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2013 14:16
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 19:28

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