Li Enshen

Li Enshen is a Senior Lecturer at the TC Beirne School of Law, The University of Queensland. He graduated from Shanghai University with an LLB and had practised as a defence counsel in Shanghai, China. Moving into academia, he obtained his SJD from La Trobe University and was then awarded a PhD in criminology from The University of Queensland. His research interests lie in the fields of comparative criminal justice, theoratical criminology, socio-legal studies of punishment. He has published widely in the leading criminology and Asian law journals, including the British Journal of Criminology, Law & Social Inquiry and the Columbia Journal of Asian Law. He is the recipient of the Early Career Research Excellence in Research Award at the University of Queensland in 2018.

Designation: The University of Queensland
Institution: The University of Queensland
Paper: Risk Society with “Chinese Characteristics”: Is China Moving towards a Preventive State?
Abstract: Since the economic modernization, China’s fate as a risk-laden society has become increasingly palpable to the public and the ruling party. In this article, the author argues that risk in the Chinese ‘social stability’ context is perceived primarily as a threat to social and political order. While the significant rise in crime and unlawful behaviors has imperiled the social relations, it is also envisaged as the menace to the regime stability. By scrutinizing the proliferation of a diverse set of prophylactic laws and measures, his analysis suggests that the preventive initiatives in China are widely used by the coercive law enforcement in policing, criminal justice and administrative procedure. However, despite preventive laws and practices, China has yet to develop a principled system of preventive justice as the Government has not showed any intention to form a coordinated legal enterprise premised on coherence, uniformity and accountability, nor has it established proceedings and values to guide or limit the excess of the state preventive powers. That said, China’s preventive regime is fraught with three particular issues: the normative misalignment of various preventive laws and practices; the blurred distinction between preventive and punitive (coercive) measures; and the violation of the foundational rules that underpin and inform an adversarial criminal justice system.