East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

October 18, Jia Li, “Tigers in Cage: A Network Explanation of Corruption Prosecution in China”


East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents


Tigers in Cage: A Network Explanation of Corruption Prosecution in China”

Jia Li

CIR Student, the University of Chicago

4:30-6:00p.m., Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

*Light refreshments will be served*


Autocrats who command anticorruption agencies selectively take down elites who threaten their autocracies. The puzzle of political prosecution, however, is not only who are prosecuted but also how they are. The duration of political prosecution, as this paper argues, is determined by the rebellion capacity of prosecuted elite. Rebellion capacity of an elite derives from his brokerage position in the elite network. This paper applies network analysis to study Xi Jinping’s anticorruption campaign in China. Taking advantage of the two-stage prosecution procedure of the party-state, this paper controls the magnitude of corruption and explains intraparty duration by network positions of the 184 senior party cadres involved in corruption. The findings suggest that the more capable of rebellion a cadre is, the longer it takes to prosecute him. The autocrat intends to detect plots against his autocracy in the course of investigating corruption.

Keywords: corruption; autocracy; China; network analysis

About the speaker:

Jia Li is a second-year student in the MA program of Committee on International Relations (CIR). He is interested in authoritarian politics, especially the dynamics between its political institutions, elite networks and regime survival. Jia is working on a project that applies network analysis to explain the variation of prosecution strategies in China’s anticorruption campaign.

* To see the full autumn 2016 schedule: 2016 Autumn Schedule

* Questions and concerns can be addressed to the student coordinator Yinxian Zhang (zyxzhang@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors:

Xi Song (Sociology), xisong@chicagobooth.edu

Dali Yang (Political Science), daliyang@uchicago.edu

Dingxin Zhao (Sociology), dzhao@uchicago.edu

The East Asia Workshop is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences. Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance please contact the student coordinator in advance.

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