Punishment in Contemporary China: Its Evolution, Development and Change, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Punishment in Contemporary China

Its Evolution, Development and Change, 1st Edition

By Enshen Li


172 pages

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Punishment in contemporary China has experienced dramatic shifts over the last seven decades or so. This book focuses on the evolution, development and change of punishment in the Maoist (1949-1977), reform (1978-2001) and post-reform eras (2002-) of China to understand the shaping and transformation of punishment within the context of a range of socio-cultural changes across different historical periods.

It aims to fill the gap of existing research by developing a distinctive theoretical framework for the China’s penality, exploring it as a separate and complex legal-social system to observe the impact social foundations, political-economic genesis, cultural significance and meanings have exerted on penal form, discourse and force in contemporary China. It sheds light on the sociology of punishment in this socialist Party-state by investigating law reform, penal policy, social control, crime prevention and sentencing as interconnected elements in the criminal justice and penal system.

This book will be of great interest to those who study Chinese criminal law, penal and policing system, as well as to law academics, criminologists and sociologists whose research interests lie in the fields of comparative criminology and criminal justice.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Punishment and Society in China

2. Economic Modernization and Punishment: Strike-Hard Campaigns, Administrative Detention and the Underclass Population

3. Populism and Punishment: Populist Penality with Chinese Characteristics

4. The Emergence of Lenient Justice: New Penal Policy in Post-reform China

5. Community Justice in Urban China: Civic Participation, Rehabilitative Ethos and Social Stability

6. Community Corrections and Crime Prevention: Restorativeness v Managerialism

7. Conclusion 


About the Author

Dr Enshen Li is a lecturer at the TC Beirne School of Law, The University of Queensland. His research interests lie in the field of comparative criminal justice, theoretical criminology, socio-legal studies of punishment and society. Dr Enshen Li specializes in the Chinese criminal justice and penal system and their implications for culture and society.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Crime and Justice in Asia and the Global South

Crime and justice studies, as with much social science, has concentrated mainly on problems in the metropolitan centres of the Global North, while Asia and the Global South have remained largely invisible in criminological thinking. This research series aims to redress this imbalance by showcasing exciting new ways of thinking and doing crime and justice research from the global periphery.

Bringing together scholarly work from a range of disciplines, from criminology, law, and sociology to psychology, cultural geography and comparative social sciences, this series offers grounded empirical research and fresh theoretical approaches and cover a range of pressing topics, including international corruption, drug use, environmental issues, sex work, organized crime, innovative models of justice, and punishment and penology.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology