Marcelo Thompson & Zhang Xin
Abstract: China’s Social Credit System (SCS) has been characterized as embodying a new, reputation or trust-based paradigm of State authority, said to defy the ideal of the rule-of-law. This paper contests such a view, explaining the SCS, instead, as a response to justice concerns typical of liberal societies in conditions of high modernity. Such concerns spring from the exponentially increasing articulation of identity attributes under circumstances of dominance and lack of trust. To address these, the SCS institutionally reconfigures an important conceptual relationship — that between trust, identity, and the law — which, far from new, is found at the roots of modern societies. Click here to download the full paper.