Big Tigers, Big Data: Learning Social Reactions to China’s Anticorruption Campaign Through Online Feedback : Learning Social Reactions to China's Anticorruption Campaign through Online Feedback

Jiangnan ZHU, Huang HUANG, Dong ZHANG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

8 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the effect of campaign-style anticorruption efforts on political support using the case of China's most recent anticorruption drive, which stands out for its harsh crackdown on high-ranking officials, known as “big tigers.” An exploratory text analysis of more than 370,000 online comments on the downfall of the first 100 big tigers, from 2012 to 2015, reveals that public support for the top national leader who initiated the anticorruption campaign significantly exceeded that afforded to anticorruption agencies and institutions. Further regression analyses show that support for the leaders with respect to intuitions increased with the tigers' party ranking. Findings suggest that while campaign-style enforcement can reinforce the central authority and magnify support for individual leaders, it may also marginalize the role of legal institutions crucial to long-term corruption control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-513
Number of pages14
JournalPublic Administration Review
Issue number4
Early online date24 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


Bibliographical note

This project is sponsored by the HKGRF (project no. 17411814).

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