The book begins with a historical account of police reform in the region since 2000. Next, it discusses the difficulties encountered in trying to understand Chinese policing, such as outdated perceptions, misinformation, cultural ignorance, ideological hegemony, and problems with paternalistic attitudes. The book recommends studying China from a local perspective informed by local research and data, suggesting that understanding China requires a cultural shift to the Chinese way of life in "thinking" and, more importantly, "feeling."
The author then summarizes selected policy papers from Gongan Yanjiu, a leading international policy journal. He first documents how the thinking and aspirations of various generations of Chinese leaders from Mao to Deng, and now Jiang and Hu, came to affect Chinese policing in theory and practice. He then addresses the emergence of a police legitimacy crisis as evidenced by the deterioration of public image and rebellions against police authority. Demonstrating how old ideologies are increasingly in conflict with the values and lifestyles of a new mentality, the book discusses steps that can be taken to improve professionalism. The final chapters investigate such problems as abuses of discretion and the improper use of firearms and highlight the importance of understanding the Chinese people, culture, values, and interests in order to truly effectuate successful police reform.
About the Author
Professor Kam C. Wong is an expert consultant to United Nation, Canadian government, Hong Kong Police, Chinese Ministry of Public Security. He is a media consultant to CNN, Guardian, South China Morning Post, CCTV, Apple, Now, RHKTV, TVB, Commercial Radio HK and other media.
"This book makes two important contributions to the study of policing in China. First, through innovative data-mining methodologies, K. C. Wong brings out the voices and feelings of ordinary police officers and demonstrates the potential of deeper-level research on Chinese policing and criminal justice institutions. Second, K. C. Wong’s work reminds us of the necessity and possibility need to approach Chinese policing and criminal justice from broader political and social perspectives."
—Fu Hualing, Ph.D., Professor of Law and Head, Department of Law, University of Hong Kong
"With rare understanding of Chinese materials, K.C. Wong painstakingly describes efforts to reform the Chinese police during the past decade, courageously exploring sensitive issues of policy and performance. Written in an engagingly personal manner, it is a fundamental book for anyone interested in how modern China manages law enforcement and public order."
—David H. Bayley, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, School of Criminal Justice, State University of New York at Albany
"This book provides a rare and insightful glimpse of policing in China in the midst of such change. … Among the book’s most significant contributions are the data sources that it makes accessible to a Western readership. These include publications in professional policing journals, longitudinal data from successive crime victim surveys and surveys of police personnel, and excerpts from conversations in online chat-rooms. The book is richly documented, a resource in its own right. … KC Wong’s intriguing book provides us with a valuable vantage point from which to view the unfolding of this drama."
—Distinguished Professor Peter Grabosky, Australian National University and Vice President, Asian Criminological Society
ISBN: 9781439819692, 413 pp., Hardcover, $129.95
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