Policing Modern China

In: China Law and Society Review

The study of policing in China is a small but growing subfield with critical insights for law and society scholars. This article examines the fundamentals of policing, tracing the organization’s history and institutional basics before turning to a review of the emerging literature. Scholars have made headway analyzing topics like policing practices, social control, public relations, and police perspectives, but there is still much work to be done. Partly because research on the police faces methodological challenges, the literature is uneven, leaving gaps in our knowledge about key issues such as police corruption, regional variation, and the relationship between police and private security groups. By outlining what we do and do not know about policing in China, this article parses the field’s best answers to questions of how police officers and the Public Security Bureau enforce state mandates and respond to challenges on the ground.

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