Corruption and Market in Contemporary China

Corruption and Market in Contemporary China

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Is corruption an inevitable part of the transition to a free-market economy? Yan Sun here examines the ways in which market reforms in the People's Republic of China have shaped corruption since 1978 and how corruption has in turn shaped those reforms. She suggests that recent corruption is largely a byproduct of post-Mao reforms, spurred by the economic incentives and structural opportunities in the emerging marketplace. Sun finds that the steady retreat of the state has both increased mechanisms for cadre misconduct and reduced disincentives against it. Chinese disciplinary offices, law enforcement agencies, and legal professionals compile and publish annual casebooks of economic crimes. The cases, processed in the Chinese penal system, represent offenders from party-state agencies at central and local levels as well as state firms of varying sizes and types of ownership. Sun uses these casebooks to illuminate the extent and forms of corruption in the People's Republic of China. Unintended and informal mechanisms arising from corruption may, she finds, take on a life of their own and undermine the central state's ability to implement its developmental policies, discipline its staff, enforce its regulatory infrastructure, and fundamentally transform the economy.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 146 x 222 x 18mm | 340.2g
  • Ithaca, United States
  • English
  • 0801489423
  • 9780801489426
  • 775,563

Review quote

"This is the most comprehensive survey of corruption in reform-era China that I've read. The book draws on an impressive range of Chinese-language casebook materials to show the complex interactions between China's reform process and the emergence of both conventional and more novel forms of corruption."-Kellee Tsai, author of Back-Alley Banking: Private Entrepreneurs in China "In Corruption and Market in Contemporary China, Yan Sun analyzes how the breakdown of political accountability and the distortion of incentives have contributed to widespread abuse of power and looting by Chinese officials in the 1990s. Sun has painstakingly assembled a powerful case against the view that economic liberalization can reduce corruption. On the contrary, economic liberalization under authoritarian rule is proved to have bred new and more pernicious forms of corruption. The book's empirical richness and creative application of theory will make it a new benchmark in the research on corruption in transition economies."-Minxin Pei, Director of the China Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace "Corruption is arguably the critical issue facing contemporary China, influencing everything from the distribution of wealth and opportunity to the legitimacy of the government. Yan Sun's timely analysis of corruption in China brings an enormous amount of empirical data to bear on the question, puts the issue in comparative perspective, and offers sharp and perceptive explanations. A must read."-Joseph Fewsmith, Boston University "Yan Sun looks at the question of whether corruption is an inevitable part of China's transition to a free-market economy and examines the ways in which market reforms in the China have shaped corruption since 1978. Just as interesting, she considers how corruption has, in turn, shaped reforms."-China Economic Review, October 2004 "Sun notes correctly that the effects of corruption in China have worsened progressively, shifting initially from helping to corrode the planned system to creating major hindrance to reform and development. Recommended."-S. Hart, College of William and Mary, Choice, April 2005
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