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07-10-2016 | RESEARCH ARTICLE | Issue 2/2018

Journal of Chinese Political Science 2/2018

A Disappearing Act: the Evolution of China’s Administrative Detention System

Journal:
Journal of Chinese Political Science > Issue 2/2018
Author:
Stephen Noakes

Abstract

This article traces the evolution of reeducation-through-labor (laojiao) as a form of administrative punishment in China in an effort to identify the critical junctures, events, and actors that have produced significant changes in the practice over time. Focusing most of its attention on the abolition of the RTL system announced in the Third Plenum Decision of 2013 and the subsequent use of a range of alternative institutions to house former RTL detainees, it outlines a shift toward more diverse and differentiated means of addressing both political opposition and social problems in China. In making this claim, the article suggests the emergence of a new approach of authoritarian control over the legal system, one capable of handling a wider assortment of offender-types and therefore better-able to protect CCP hegemony.

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