Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Hualing Fu on High Policing and Human Rights Lawyering in China (CUP book chapter)

"High Policing and Human Rights Lawyering in China"
Hualing Fu
in Weitseng Chen (ed) and Hualing Fu (ed), Regime Type and Beyond: The Transformation of Police in Asia(Cambridge University Press, May 2023), pp. 53-86

Summary: This chapter studies the interaction between human rights lawyers and activists and political policing in China. While coercion is key to authoritarian governance, coercive and repressive measures in and of themselves do not produce regime resilience and deliver orders, compliance, and effective governance that is commonly observed in China. This chapter examines the systemic use of “soft repression,” which is preventive and preemptive in nature, characterized by surveillance, early intervention, and political persuasion. The process is informal and interactive in which the Chinese political policing systems bring government pressure and other non-state forces to bear on target groups and individuals to achieve compliance. Subtle intimidation, consent under duress, relational repression, and voluntary detention, all hallmarks of China’s political policing, which is referred to as coercive political persuasion, have worked to constrain legitimate advocacy without frequently resorting to direct violence or blatant violation of legal rules.

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