Organized crime and the political-criminal nexus in China

Kolin Chin, Roy Godson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The research goals of this study, undertaken on behalf of the National Strategy Information Center (NSIC), were to describe the evolution of the political-criminal nexus (PCN) in China and predict its development, examine the causes and patterns of PCN in China, assess the anticipated threats of Chinese PCN, and identify options for external factors-inside and outside government-to weaken PCN in China. The researchers used a variety of techniques as part of an overall exploratory methodology, including interviews and field observations in three Chinese provinces. Key informants included law enforcement officers, government officials, scholars, prosecutors, judges, businessmen, and underworld figures. Interviews and site visits were supplemented with the review of a large collection of English and Chinese literature on the subject. The major findings are (1) in China, PCN is primarily a nexus between gangsters and low- and mid-level government officials from the criminal justice system; (2) the Chinese government is concerned with the problem of PCN mainly because it is eroding the authority of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and not because of the threat of organized gangs to social and economic stability; (3) organized crime in China is going to be a local problem for many towns and cities in the foreseeable future; (4) reasons for the development of PCN in China could be categorized as economic, structural, social/cultural, and psychological/ideological and the impact of PCN could be categorized as social, economic, and political; and (5) several options exist for external governmental and nongovernmental measures to curb or at least control PCN in China, including research, education, and judicial reform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-44
Number of pages40
JournalTrends in Organized Crime
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law


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