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Police Accountability and the Commodification of Policing in China: A Study of Police/Business Posters in Guangzhou

NCJ Number
British Journal of Criminology Volume: 53 Issue: 6 Dated: November 2013 Pages: 1093-1117
Jianhua Xu
Date Published
November 2013
25 pages
This paper explores commodification of policing in China.
Based on a study of police/business posters in Guangzhou, this paper explores commodification of policing in China. It is argued that, while the commodification of policing in Western societies has its roots in the rise of neo-liberal thinking, it is unique in China for its lack of accountability of police power. Chengguan, the urban management department, is not an effective counter-power to the police in their making of illegal police/business posters due to institutional arrangement and practical reasons. The commodification of police power is not just a local police phenomenon, but a wider police institutional phenomenon. It is also part of the symbiotic relations between state power and economic capital in a wider Chinese society. Data collection involved 3 years of ethnographic fieldwork, in-depth semi-structured interviews with the police, police scholars, businessmen, urban management officers, ordinary citizens and security guards. (Published Abstract)