Laojiao Abolished, Arbitrariness Retained – Stability Maintenance in an Academic Debate in the PRC
Levy, Katja. "Laojiao Abolished, Arbitrariness Retained - Stability Maintenance in an Academic Debate in the PRC" Chinese History and Society/Berliner China-Hefte 45 (2015), pp. 91-114.
24 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2019
Date Written: 2015
The question addressed in this paper is how stability maintenance is conceptualized by the scholars debating the abolition of the laojiao system and if and how this conceptualization differs from Western theoretical approaches on social and political stability. I argue that the main elements of the conceptualization in the debate are arbitrariness, threat, (legal) uncertainty and unpredictability, elements which are put into practice by systems like the laojiao system and which differ substantially from Western conceptions of stability maintenance. By comparing and contrasting these Western and Chinese lines of thought on maintaining stability, I also aim to contribute to the general discussion in the social sciences on effective means of maintaining social and political stability. Given the fact that Western theory often claims to be universally deployable, it is remarkable that China has been able to maintain stability up to now without considering the core factors of Western theory.
Keywords: Re-Education, China, Stability
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