1st Edition

Understanding Crime in Villages-in-the-City in China A Social and Behavioral Approach

By Zhanguo Liu, T. Wing Lo Copyright 2020
    188 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    186 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Rapid urbanization of economic zones in China has resulted in a special social phenomenon: "villages-in-the-city." Underdeveloped villages are absorbed during the expansion of urban areas, while retaining their rustic characteristics. Due to the rural characteristics of these areas, social security is much lower compared with the urbanized city. This book uses Tang Village, a remote area in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, as an example to establish a comprehensive analytical framework by integrating existing crime theories in analyzing villages-in-the-city. The analysis covers the community, individual, and macro levels to detail the diverse social and behavioral factors causing crime at multiple levels. First, a brief history of the urbanization process of Tang Village is provided to establish how urban planning contributed to the issues in the village today. The authors go on to explain how socially disorganized communities dictate the crime hotspots and the common types of crime. The book examines other risk factors that may contribute to the level of crime such as weak social controls, building density, and floating populations of poor working-class migrants. The routine activities of victims, offenders, and guardians are examined. The book concludes with the current trends in the social structure within the villages-in-the-city and their expected outcome after urbanization.

    List of Tables 
    List of Figures 

    Chapter 1 Introduction 
    Chapter 2 Crimes in Tang Village 
    Chapter 3 Individual, Community and Macro Levels of Analysis 
    Chapter 4 Community Disorganization in Tang Village 
    Chapter 5 Suitable Targets of Crime 
    Chapter 6 Motivated Offenders 
    Chapter 7  Incapability of Guardians 
    Chapter 8 Political Economy and Crime in Tang Village 
    Chapter 9 Conclusions 

    Appendix: The Main Interviewees 


    Zhanguo Liu is the founding Director of Leaguer Industry Research based in Shenzhen and conducts research projects for industry and business. He graduated from the Xi’An University of Architecture and Technology, Peking University, and City University of Hong Kong. Before beginning his work on product research, Dr. Liu worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the Joint Social Science Program at the Shenzhen Research Center of Peking University and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

    T. Wing Lo is Head and Professor of the Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences at City University of Hong Kong. He received his PhD in criminology from the University of Cambridge (1991). Before becoming a full-time academic, he worked with triad gangsters on street corners for 17 years. He was invited to address the UN delegates attending the Palermo Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2010), and officials of the U.S. Department of Defense (2015). He is Founding Editor of Routledge Studies in Asian Behavioral Sciences series and member of the International Advisory Board/Editorial Board of journals including the British Journal of Criminology, Youth Justice, Asian Journal of Criminology, and British Journal of Community Justice. His research interests are triad society, anti-corruption, and offender rehabilitation. He has authored or edited several books, such as Corruption and Politics in Hong Kong and China (1993); Fighting Youth Crime: Success and Failure of Two Little Dragons (2002, 2004); Understanding Criminal Justice in Hong Kong (2008, 2017); and Organized Crime and Corruption Across Borders: Exploring the Belt and Road Initiative (2019).

    'The villages in city is small, but the crimes in villages in city seems "bigger ". This book reminds us to see, hear and reflect the problems emerged during the rapid modernization and transition society in China.'Dr Li Li, China University of Political Science and Law, China.

    'The book offers rich insights into the lives of those who live in China’s growing villages-in-the-city. It is strongly recommended to readers who are interested in China’s rapid social change, urbanisation, migration, urban crime and crime control mechanisms.' - Anqi Shen, Northumbria University, UK

    'The book addresses a particular social phenomenon unpaid much attention to in fast-changing China. With first-hand data, it provides a convincing explanation of crimes in village-in-cities by integrating micro, meso and macro perspectives. A deep investigation on general Chinese political economy, features of village-in-cities as community, and residents’ routine activities make the book unique in the field. The book is valuable also because it goes beyond the summarization and theorizes the finding, namely social disorder breeds crime.' - Guoping Jiang, Nanchang University, China