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Title: Chinese legal reform and social control : a case study of community sanctions and methods
Author: Chen , Qi
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis focuses on the research question that whether western-inspired legal reform can make substantive changes in China, given the pre-existing social control system. By using community sanctions and measures (CSM) as an example, it explores the impact of legal reform on individual practitioners, various organisations, and the general model of governance in China. To gain insight into these dynamics, empirical study was conducted in two major sites of China. In-depth interviews, observation and scenario tests were used to collect qualitative data. This data was interpreted with reference to quantitative data obtained from secondary resources. Based on the analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data, this thesis argues that social control in China should not be understood solely in terms of one-Party politics or traditional Confucianism. Instead, the model of governance in contemporary China is underpinned by the broader state-citizen relationship, the institutional design of state apparatus (known as the danwei system), and the populist culture associated with them. This model of governance has led to a highly problematic central-local relationship and an unreasonable state-agent relationship. Both consequences are major obstacles in legal reform, and contributing factors to China's instability. In conclusion, this thesis suggests that the underperformance of legal reform and the social unrest in contemporary China are intertwined problems. They can only be addressed together by a package solution. This solution should provide a bottom-up route in legal reform, so that local governments, as the primary driving forces of reform, can mobilise important social changes. It should also contain a reshaped central-local relationship that can give local governments and lower courts a stronger claim on their legitimacy. The reconstruction of legitimacy and reshaping of local governance should be the focus of policy makers and future studies on Chinese legal reform.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available