Socially Embedded Anti-Corruption Governance : Evidence from Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review

2 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-190
Journal / PublicationPublic Administration and Development
Issue number3
Online published2 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


In this study, we seek to identify and explain what factors influence citizens’ propensity to confront corruption by reporting suspected corruption cases. From a macro–micro interactive perspective, which we term ‘socially embedded anti-corruption governance’, we make two propositions focusing on intrinsic and extrinsic factors, respectively. We believe, first, that citizens’ response to suspected corrupt behaviour is a good indicator of the level of their tolerance for corruption. If corruption is unacceptable to citizens, they would be more likely to report suspected corruption cases. However, a low level of tolerance of corruption alone does not necessarily explain why people report corruption. We further argue that people’s willingness to confront corruption is also affected by the extent to which they are satisfied with and have confidence in the government’s anti-corruption endeavours. Drawing on data collected from an original survey of 1025 local residents in Hong Kong, we test the two hypotheses. Our findings confirm that the propensity to report suspected corruption results from both a low level of tolerance towards corruption and the positive perception of the quality of anti-corruption governance. The implications of our findings for other regions, especially Mainland China, are explored.

Research Area(s)

  • anti-corruption reform, corruption, Hong Kong, ICAC, quality of governance, reporting corruption

Bibliographic Note

Full text of this publication does not contain sufficient affiliation information. With consent from the author(s) concerned, the Research Unit(s) information for this record is based on the existing academic department affiliation of the author(s).