Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Anti-Corruption, the Mass Media, and Political Support in China

ZHANG, YIXUAN (2024) Anti-Corruption, the Mass Media, and Political Support in China. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

[img] PDF
Primary Text
Restricted to University of Pittsburgh users only until 8 January 2026.

Download (2MB) | Request a Copy


How do anti-corruption campaigns affect public support and elites' behavior in non-democracies, and what roles are played by mass media in this process? This dissertation aims to answer these questions through three empirical chapters on anti-corruption campaigns in China. First, by analyzing nationwide panel surveys, I demonstrate that public political trust is influenced by how the state communicates anti-corruption campaigns to the public via mass media. Information that exposes citizens to instances of local government misconduct diminishes public trust in local governments. Conversely, information highlighting local governments' commitment to rectifying corrupt practices enhances citizens' political trust. Second, I further explore the spatial spillover effects of corruption investigations during anti-corruption campaigns. Empirical findings reveal that corruption investigations in neighboring provinces have a positive spillover impact on public trust in their own local government. In the third study, I shift my focus from the impact of anti-corruption enforcement on the masses to the political elites' behavior during the campaigns. Through an analysis of news reports concerning high-level corruption cases in major official newspapers, I observe that media coverage of (anti)corruption serves as a channel for political elites in China to send political signals to each other. By strategically giving more media attention to high-ranking corrupt officials, who are connected to the top leader's potential rivals, the central top leader demonstrates his/her capability to concentrate power, and local leaders, in turn, signal loyalty to this top leader. Together, these results enhance our understanding of the interactions between anti-corruption campaigns and mass media in China and their impacts on the opinions and behaviors of both the masses and elites.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFinkel,
Committee MemberDing,
Committee MemberGoplerud,
Committee MemberTruex,
Date: 8 January 2024
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 4 October 2023
Approval Date: 8 January 2024
Submission Date: 6 October 2023
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 142
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: anti-corruption, mass media, political support, China
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2024 18:26
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2024 18:26


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item