The People's Regulation: Citizens and Implementation of Law in China
Benjamin van Rooij, The People's Regulation: Citizens and Implementation of Law in China, 25 Colum. J. Asian L. 116 (2012).
This paper discusses how China has made a move towards society-based regulation, enabling citizens to aid in the implementation of regulatory law. It discusses the necessity of this development in the light of the government’s problems in enforcing its laws. The paper contends that citizens have had some success in improving regulatory effects to mitigate risk. However, it also finds that citizen-based regulation reforms have been halfhearted, as existing and recently introduced authoritarian restrictions obstruct citizens and civic organizations to become successful co-regulators. The paper concludes that at its worst China has developed a form of regulation by escalation, where ironically the exact incentive structures for Chinese regulatory and judicial officials to prevent unrest, also provide an incentive for citizens to create instability as a successful strategy to get regulatory law implemented. And thus, China’s halfhearted approach to regulatory governance with its focus on stability may be destabilizing.