The volume presents an extensive investigation into the process of reforms of detention powers in today’s China and offers an in-depth analysis of the debates surrounding the reformist attempts. The chapters in this collection demonstrate that legislative and institutional reforms in this area result from political opportunities - openings and tensions at the central institutional levels of political authority - and contingent social and political factors. The book examines legal and institutional reforms to institutions of detention and imprisonment that have occurred since the 1990s, with a particular focus on the 21st century. Its content follows three particular lines of enquiry concerning the issue of deprivation of liberty in contemporary China. The first deals with the academic and theoretical debates on the subject of imprisonment and detention. The related chapters explain the difficulties encountered in this area of research and understandings of the discourses of reform through labour in Western and Chinese scholarship. The second deals with the specific issues of criminal and administrative forms of deprivation of liberty, examining in particular the institutional and legislative dimensions, considering the relationship between reforms and criminal justice policy agendas. The third assesses the meaning of institutional reforms in the context of the changing state-society relationship in contemporary China.
Contents: Preface; Deprivation of liberty under scrutiny, Elisa Nesossi, Sarah Biddulph, Flora Sapio and Susan Trevaskes. Part I Administrative Detention: What to make of the abolition of re-education through labour?, Sarah Biddulph; China’s socialization of administrative offenders in the community: an unrealistic agenda?, Enshen Li; Deprivation of liberty against one’s will in mental health institutions in contemporary China, Zhiyuan Guo. Part II Criminal Justice Reforms and Deprivation of Liberty: Residential surveillance: evolution of a Janus-faced measure, Joshua Rosenzweig; China’s pre-trial detention centres: challenges and opportunities for reform, Cheng Lei and Elisa Nesossi; Addressing the ‘hide and seek’ scandal: restoring the legitimacy of kanshousuo, Nicola Macbean. Part III An Assessment of the Field: Framing imprisonment studies in China: ideology, law and politics, Elisa Nesossi and Susan Trevaskes; Western analyses of deprivation of liberty in China, Flora Sapio; Opportunities and challenges for legislative and institutional reform of detention in China, Elisa Nesossi, Sarah Biddulph, Flora Sapio and Susan Trevaskes. Index.