Perpetrator Studies Network


Victims, Perpetrators and the Practice of Law in Maoist China: A Case-Study Approach

Edited by Daniel Leese and Puck Engman.

The relationship between politics and law in the early People’s Republic of China was highly contentious. Periods of intentionally excessive campaign justice intersected with attempts to carve out professional standards of adjudication and to offer retroactive justice for those deemed to have been unjustly persecuted. How were victims and perpetrators defined and dealt with during different stages of the Maoist era and beyond? How was law practiced, understood, and contested in local contexts? This volume adopts a case study approach to shed light on these complex questions. By way of a close reading of original case files from the grassroots level, the contributors detail procedures and question long-held assumptions, not least about the Cultural Revolution as a period of “lawlessness.”

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