Review of Børge Bakken, Crime and the Chinese Dream

Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2018. ISBN: 978-988-8208-66-1,180 pages, Hardback. HK$330 (Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China, and Taiwan only); US$45 (Other Countries)
  • Liang ChenEmail author
Book Review

In the preface of Crime and the Chinese Dream, the editor Børge Bakken “hopes to form some kind of loosely defined school of China’s criminology and sociology”. While whether he has achieved his goal is better left to the judgement of the audience, I find this thin book quite readable thanks to its analytical clarity and anecdotal narratives. The five case studies include urban corrupted doctors, fraudster “cake uncles” with a rural background, destitute motorcycle taxi drivers, drug detainers, and internet-addicted youth receiving electrocution treatment. A selection of work on criminality, victimisation, punishment and social control that insinuated various social strata in modernising China is provided and illuminated by crime theories, culture and ideology, ushering us to the darkness that lurks behind the Chinese dream.

The Chinese dream, as laid out in the introduction, is “essentially a state capitalism dream” with a patriotic and collectivist taint (p. 2) and “as much about...


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Sociology and AnthropologySun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina

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