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Synopsis

Crime long has been a silent partner in China's march to modernization, leading the regime to make law and order as central a priority as economic growth and the promise of prosperity. This groundbreaking study offers the first comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of Chinese crime, policing, and punishment. A multidisciplinary group of leading scholars draw on a rich body of empirical data and rare archival research to illuminate seldom-explored theoretical dimensions of legal ideology and reform as well as the linkages between crime and control to broader themes of law, modernization, and development. The authors balance comparative perspectives with an understanding of China's unique historical and cultural experience. This context is critical, the authors argue, as crime and control are at the root of modernity and how it is defined. In many ways the PRC is reliving the experiences of other industrializing countries, yet at the same time the practices of China's police and prison system also are painted with thick layers of historical memory.

Order has become increasingly important in legitimizing the Chinese regime, but its practices and ideas of policing are often missing from our picture of Chinese social and political development. This important book's discussion of the paradoxes of policing and the problems of order bridges that gap and demystifies developments in China. All those interested in modern and contemporary Chinese politics, law, and society, as well as in comparative criminology and law, will find this work an invaluable resource.


Contributions by: Børge Bakken, Frank Dikötter, Michael Dutton, James D. Seymour, Murray Scot Tanner, and Xu Zhangrun.

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