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Cadres and corruption : the organizational involution of the Chinese Communist Party / Xiaobo Lü

Main Author Lü, Xiaobo Country Estados Unidos. Publication Stanford : Stanford University Press, 2000 Description XVIII, 368 p. ; 24 cm Series Studies of the East Asian Institute ISBN 0-8047-3958-7 CDU 328.185(510)
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Monografia Biblioteca Fernão Mendes Pinto
BFMP 328.185(510) - L Não requisitável | Not for loan 455150
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

The most up-to-date and comprehensive analysis of corruption and change in the Chinese Communist Party, Cadres and Corruption reveals the long history of the party's inability to maintain a corps of committed and disciplined cadres. Contrary to popular understanding of China's pervasive corruption as an administrative or ethical problem, the author argues that corruption is a reflection of political developments and the manner in which the regime has evolved.

Based on a wide range of previously unpublished documentary material and extensive interviews conducted by the author, the book adopts a new approach to studying political corruption by focusing on organizational change within the ruling party. In so doing, it offers a fresh perspective on the causes and changing patterns of official corruption in China and on the nature of the Chinese Communist regime.

By inquiring into the developmental trajectory of the party's organization and its cadres since it came to power in 1949, the author argues that corruption among Communist cadres is not a phenomenon of the post-Mao reform period, nor is it caused by purely economic incentives in the emerging marketplace. Rather, it is the result of a long process of what he calls organizational involution that began as the Communist party-state embarked on the path of Maoist "continuous revolution." In this process, the Chinese Communist Party gradually lost its ability to sustain officialdom with either the Leninist-cadre or the Weberian-bureaucratic mode of integration. Instead, the party unintentionally created a neotraditional ethos, mode of operation, and set of authority relations among its cadres that have fostered official corruption.

Reviews provided by Syndetics


This thoroughly researched study of official corruption in China today is based primarily on Chinese documents and combines the anthropological theory of "involution" with Kenneth Jowitt's theory of Communist neotraditionalism. L"u (Barnard) argues that "involutionary change of a postrevolutionary regime results in a neotraditionalism characterized by informal modes of operation, cellular institutions, personalistic networks, a ritualistic ethos, and corruption of non-economic forms." Communist regimes undergoing organizational change are particularly prone to "debureaucratization" and neotraditionalism; i.e., a bureaucracy involutes by relying on friends, networks, patrons, and payments. The result is nepotism, favoritism, and clientelism. These forms of behavior, characteristic of the "feudal" stage of development, have continued in China in spite of recent economic reforms. Corrupt cadres continue neotraditional behavior, using their political power to acquire wealth. L"u focuses on lower-level cadres, whose corruption really upsets ordinary people because they, not leaders at the center, control the lives of ordinary citizens through units that are able to conceal or justify their corrupt behavior. L"u also discusses corruption within the Chinese communist movement before 1949, the problem of "guerrilla fighters" becoming "state functionaries," and the impact of the "free supply" system, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and the anticorruption mass movements. Highly recommended for upper-division undergraduates and above. S. Ogden; Northeastern University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Xiaobo Lü is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Barnard College.

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