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Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1975; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061975

Sustainable Legitimacy: Chinese Government Inspections and Public Approval of Village Leadership

School of International Studies, Academy of Overseas Chinese Studies, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 6 June 2018 / Accepted: 7 June 2018 / Published: 12 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Abstract

Inspections to villages are an important mechanism for the Chinese government to gain and retain its ruling legitimacy. However, whether inspections have been effectively utilized for that designated purpose of sustainable governance remains less clear. We know very little about how the Chinese government employs inspections to boost its public approval. This study sets out to examine that effect, contending that inspections to Chinese villages significantly boost the public approval of village leaderships by promoting the governing efficacy of village leaders. The consistent practice of inspections results in a sustained level of public support for the Chinese government. This causal relationship between inspections and public approval holds, first, by improving village social welfare and economic development, and second, by securing for village leaders essential political and financial support from higher authorities to better represent villagers’ interests and mediate conflicts among villagers. Using data of 961 randomly selected villages across China, the empirical analysis shows that Chinese government inspections significantly boost villagers’ approval regarding their village leaders. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable legitimacy; government inspections; public approval; village leadership; rural governance sustainable legitimacy; government inspections; public approval; village leadership; rural governance
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Xi, J. Sustainable Legitimacy: Chinese Government Inspections and Public Approval of Village Leadership. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1975.

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