ASTK15714U COURSE: Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign in China

Volume 2017/2018

Valgfag - International Relations, Diplomacy and Conflict Studies
Valgfag - SRM IV

Bachelorlevel: 10 ECTS

Masterlevel: 7,5 ECTS


Since Xi Jinping took power after the 18th Party Congress in 2012, he has initiated an unprecedented anti-corruption campaign in China, targeting both “tigers and flies”, ranging from the party, the administration, the People’s Congress, the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), the universities, the military, etc. While the momentum of the anti-corruption campaign is still high, several questions are worth inquiring into, with regard to: who are these main actors implementing and sustaining the anti-corruption campaign? Who are those “tigers and flies” that they are targeting at? How do they implement and keep the momentum of the anti-corruption campaign? Why do they initiate and carry on the anti-corruption campaign? And lastly, what are the results of the last four years of anti-corruption campaign? During this course, these questions are expected to be answered, by looking into in particular the role of Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), and how it has initiated and sustained the anti-corruption campaign up till now.

The course is expected to be structured according to the following tentative headings.

  1. Introduction


  1. The role of CCDI in general
  2. The history of CCDI and previous anti-corruption campaigns


  1. The investigated tigers: anti-corruption on top
  2. The investigated flies: anti-corruption at the grassroots
  3. Anti-corruption in key sectors 1: SOEs, People’s Congress, Party Organs
  4. Anti-corruption in key sectors 2: military, CCDI, corruption fugitives


  1. The strategies of the anti-corruption campaign
  2. The propaganda of the anti-corruption campaign


  1. The reasons behind the anti-corruption campaign

Results(So what):

  1. Assess the results of the anti-corruption campaign 1
  2. Assess the results of the anti-corruption campaign 2


  1. Case presentation
  2. Conclusion and summing up
Learning Outcome


Students will get to know in detail the development and the current situation of the anti-corruption campaign in China, especially with regard to the operation of the Central Committee for Discipline and Investigation in China, as well as the investigated officials. Besides, students will obtain broader knowledge of the authoritarian regime in China,  such as the propaganda of the communist party, the role of the State-Owned Enterprises, as well as the strategy of the party to push for reforms.


Students will be able to look into the specific cases of the anti-corruption campaign (especially those “tigers”), identifying how Committee for Discipline and Investigation carry out the investigation, and how the cases are disclosed and reported to the general public.


Students will be able to assess how the western media’s report of the anti-corruption campaign reflects the actual anti-corruption campaign in China. Moreover, students will be able to evaluate the impact the anti-corruption campaign, such as on the operation of the Multi-National Companies in China, and on the general economic and political reform of China.

Competency description
The course will enable the students to have a more detailed and nuanced understanding of Chinese politics. It helps lay a good foundation for further study on China, such as the authoritarian rule of the communist party, the role of mass media and democracy, and the relation between economic growth and corruption/​anti-corruption. Also, this course can benefit students who aim for a career in, for example, risk analysis (on how Chinese anti-corruption campaign influences MNCs in China), diplomacy (on how China cooperate with Denmark in anti-corruption), etc.

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Prior knowledge in Chinese politics would be an advantage. However, general interest in Chinese politics is enough.
The course will be organized mainly with lectures, group work, and student presentations.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Total
  • 28
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination
Written exam: students will choose one or several western media (don’t need to be in English, so Danish newspaper is very welcome), such as BBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, etc, to look into how they report the anti-corruption campaign in China, what are their main opinions, and whether or not there are any changes in the last four years. Then the students are to present their own opinions on whether or not these media reports are persuasive, and if so (or not), why, based on the learning from the course. In a word, the students are to compare the news coverage and the actual anti-corruption campaign in China, and give their own assessment.
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assesment
  • Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
  • Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
  • Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner