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CHINA LEGAL SCIENCE 2019年第5期 | 当代中国犯罪学研究的40年发展及展望
日期:20-03-28 来源:CHINA LEGAL SCIENCE 2019年第5期 作者:zzs

THE 40 YEARS DEVELOPMENT AND PROSPECTS OF CRIMINOLOGY RESEARCH IN CONTEMPORARY CHINA


Zhang Xiaohu


I. INTRODUCTION


Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the theoretical system of Chinese criminology has been gradually established, developed and enriched. Especially along with the progress of reform and opening-up in 1978, the theoretical research of Chinese criminology has been progressing rapidly. Professional research groups and institutions were established; the academic atmosphere of criminology research is becoming strong; and criminology in the position of criminal science is increasingly becoming prominent. The knowledge system of criminology was gradually formed. Description and evaluation of crime phenomena are more objective than before. Relatively great development in the theories regarding the essence, causation and countermeasure of crime has been achieved. Great progress has also been made in the practice of crime prevention and crime control.

However, there are still many other aspects of criminal research that need to be pushed forward. For example, the research of criminology does not attract enough attention from the public; the empirical research on crime is obviously scarce; the analysis of crime causation is based on common sense rather than professional knowledge; the crime countermeasure is too broad with no focus; the research of criminology lacks the background knowledge of sociological theory; for a long time, sociological researches have not paid attention to the problem of crime.

So it could be regarded that criminology is now at the stage of slowly progressing in China. In the future, for the increasing rationality in national decision-making together with the continuous improvement of the scientific level of the whole society, more attention will be drawn on the research of criminology. This article will make a comprehensive explanation on the achievements and shortcomings of the basic theoretical researches of Chinese criminology since the founding of New China, especially in the last 40 years.


II. DISCIPLINARY STATUS AND KNOWLEDGE SYSTEM


A. The Overall Situation


In the early stage of the development of the PRC, great achievements had been made on the criminal control. For example, the organized crime of old Shanghai was miraculously eliminated, prostitution and drug use were also eradicated. But due to the dominance of primitive idea at that time, it was believed that the socialist system is the natural barrier of crime, so the scientific research on criminology did not acquire enough attention. ‘30 years have passed since the founding of new China, no special institution was set up for the study of crime, and no criminology courses were given in any political and legal institution.’

After the reform and opening-up, since a special emphasis on seeking truth from facts and respecting science, people started to develop dialectical understanding of the problem of crime gradually. At the same time, the quickly growing severity of juvenile delinquency had also become a social reality, which made the problems of crime bring more and more attention from the nation and the whole society. These situations were very similar to the social state of the US when the US started to become the center of modern criminology research. That is, the tremendous social change, the innovation of ideas and the sharp increase in crime also provided the social background conditions for the birth of the modern criminology theory in China. Because of the work of many famous scholars, modern Chinese criminology was also formulated. Although the theory of criminology in China has not formed an influential school of theory, the achievements of this period have laid a good formal and substantial foundation for the further development of the theory of criminology in the future. Among all those achievements, founding academic institutions, establishing professional courses, and constructing disciplinary systems etc. are considered as iconic.


B. Academic Institutions


National institutions for the research of criminology were established. In 1982, the Society for the Study of Juvenile Delinquency was established. Especially, the Chinese Society of Criminology was established in 1992 and Professor Kang Shuhua was the President of the society. Others, such as the Chinese Prison Society, the Chinese Police Association, and so on, were also established. At the same time, a number of specialized research institutes on crime were also set up by the relevant judicial departments, and institutions of higher learning, etc. For example, the Public Security Institute of the Ministry of Public Security, the Institute for Crime Prevention of the Ministry of Justice, the Center for Crime Research of Peking University, the Institute of Criminology of Renmin University of China, the Institute for Sociology and Juvenile Delinquency of China University of Political Science and Law.


C. Academic Research


The enthusiasm of academic research in criminology is unprecedentedly high. Not only are a large number of translated works contributed into the criminology, for example, Criminology, Criminology: An Understanding of Sociology, Comparative Criminology, Criminology, etc., but also many academic journals focusing on criminology research are created, such as The Crime Research, The Problem of Juvenile Delinquency, and The Research on Crime and Reform, etc. Let alone the unaccountably many academic papers and theoretical works are published in the same period. Among them, representative writings include:  Criminology (4th edition, national textbook), Argumentation Criminology, Criminology: History, Present and Future, New Criminology, Relational Criminology, Contemporary China’s Social Structure and Crime, etc.


D. Professional Courses


Criminology has become a major course in colleges and universities, which make criminology to be established and recognized as the professional academic discipline. In this respect, the most remarkable representation was the establishment of the first Department of Criminology in China in 1985 at the East China Institute of Political and Law. Professor Wu Han was the Head of the Department. Since then, with the development of criminology in China, many colleges and universities have clearly regarded criminology as one of the most important research directions of Master’s degree and Doctorate degree in enrollment. Criminology course is given to the students not only undergraduate but postgraduate in many institutions, such as Peking University, China University of Political Science and Law, Renmin University of China, East China University of Political Science and Law, etc. The Chinese People’s Public Security, as well as many other local public security colleges, takes criminology as an important professional course.


E. Discipline Status


In the beginning of reform and opening up, with the gradual restoration of the legal system, the problem of crime aroused concern in theoretical research of criminology, but its orthodox disciplinary status was not established. At that time, in general theoretical expression, the crime causation was regarded as a special topic in criminal jurisprudence, and was embodied in the knowledge frame of criminal jurisprudence. For example, the phenomena and causation of crime were usually covered by a chapter (or a section) in the early authoritative textbooks of criminal law.

With the development of the theory and practice of crime research, the Chinese criminology was gradually separated from criminal jurisprudence and became a relatively independent discipline. However, there was still a wide range of controversy on the status of discipline of Chinese criminology. The main points of views were as follows: assistance to criminal jurisprudence, a branch of criminal jurisprudence, a branch of whole criminal science, the whole criminal science itself, a branch of sociology, a sociological jurisprudence, first-level disciplines in the social sciences.

In the authour’s opinion, generally speaking, criminology is one of the sciences on criminal fact, and criminal jurisprudence is one of the sciences on criminal norm. Both criminology and criminal jurisprudence belong to criminal science. Criminology and criminal jurisprudence are independent disciplines separate from each other, but criminology provides the basic idea for criminal jurisprudence. At the same time, the methodology and theories of criminology show obvious features of sociology. At present in China, the independent status of criminology has gradually been accepted by academia, but in the course structure of law education, criminology is regarded as a third-level subject under criminal jurisprudence and as an elective course.


F. Knowledge Systems


Unique discipline system and independent discipline position are complementary. Due to the fact that the criminology was not considered as an independent subject at the beginning of its development, the knowledge structure of the Chinese criminology was built without a unique knowledge core. In principle, the crime causation should be the core of the knowledge of criminology, and the criminology in its narrow sense is the science of crime causation. However, some of the early criminology textbooks constructed the knowledge system of criminology based on the logic of ‘before, during and after the crime’. Among them, ‘before the crime’ was composed of four parts, such as the present situation of crime and criminology, the crime behavior, the classification of crime, and the causation of crime. ‘During the crime’ was composed of the implementation of crime and the criminological significance of age and gender. ‘After the crime’ was divided into three parts, such as problems after the crime, crime prevention, and criminal administration.

With criminology being founded as an independent academic discipline in China, the knowledge system of criminology was constructed. In this respect, the landmark was the publication of important theoretical works and textbooks on criminology, including The General Theory of Criminology, The Large Dictionary of Criminology, The Comparative Criminology, The Summary of Criminology Research in New China, etc. These works and textbooks established the basic framework of broad sense criminology in China, and formed the mainstream knowledge structure of the subject. These theoretical works and textbooks have also produced the relatively important and lasting influence on the subsequent related works and the teaching materials of criminology.

In 1992, The General Theory of Criminology constructed the knowledge system of criminology from five parts: introduction, theory of crime phenomenon, theory of crime type, theory of crime causation, theory of prevention and control of crime. This knowledge structure had a great impact on the theoretical system of criminology in China. Since then, many works on criminological systematic knowledge had generally adhered to this framework, and the main frame of the criminology system was eventually regarded as the following four parts, such as introduction, phenomena, causation and countermeasures. Then, it becomes quite common in China that the knowledge system of criminology has the broad characteristics which include not only the crime causation but also the crime countermeasures.

In 1997, the book The Summary of Criminology Research in New China divided the knowledge system of criminology into five parts, which were the introduction to criminology, the theory of crime phenomenon, the theory of crime causation, the theory of crime prevention and the theory of various types of crimes. It is worth noting that, the theory of various types of crimes was considered as an independent and special theoretical topic in this book. This also means that the book emphasized that the theory of various types of crimes was different from the basic theory of criminology. However, it had not been established clearly as a concept, that the criminology system should be composed of the general theory and the sub-general theory.

In the author’s opinion, as an independent discipline, criminology should have its basic theory and application of basic theory. Later, in the national textbook Criminology, the knowledge system of the general theory and the sub-general theory was clearly established. This knowledge system was further enriched and affirmed in a number of subsequent textbooks on criminology. To be specific, the general theory of criminology mainly explains the basic theories of criminology, which consists of five parts: basic knowledge of criminology, essence of crime, phenomenon of crime, mechanism of crime causation, and countermeasures of crime. The sub-general theory of criminology mainly explains the theories of various types of crimes. That is to interpret the concept, situation, causations and countermeasures of various types of crimes respectively. The sub-general theory of criminology is composed of three parts: types of criminal subject, types of criminal acts, and special types of crimes. 


III. CRIME ESSENCE


A. Research Status


What is the crime essence? This is one of the theoretical focal points of criminal jurisprudence and criminology. Since China’s reform and opening up, with the independence of criminology from criminal jurisprudence, this issue has gradually become a focus of criminology scholars from the perspective of criminology. The point of the dispute about the crime essence is that: first, the relationship between the crime concept of criminology and the crime concept of criminal law; second, what exactly the special content of essence of crime is?

For the first point, there are two different points of view. One view is that the crime concept of criminology should be subject to the crime definition of criminal law. This idea emphasizes that the crime concept of criminology is defined by the concept of criminal law, and advocates that the term ‘crime’ should be consistent in the field of criminal science. Its purpose is to lay a logical premise of unified crime concept for inter-disciplinary researches. The other view is that the crime concept of criminology is different from the crime meaning of criminal law. This idea holds that the crime concept in criminology should be constructed alone, or that some phenomena such as illegal behavior, deviant behavior etc. should be included in the perspective of criminology research. Its focus is on the key significance of criminology research.

For the second point, there are also different views as follows: monism of the crime essence or pluralism of the crime essence, the theory of violating legal interests or the theory of social harmfulness, etc. Among them, the view of monism of the crime essence claims that the crime essence only has a single meaning, for example, violating legal interests, social harmfulness. On the other hand, the view of pluralism of the essence of crime holds that the crime essence should have multiple different meanings at the same time, for example ‘violating rule relations in politics, disrupting order in society, breaking criminal law in law’.


B. Review


Synthesizing the two aspects above, these researches have made the discussion on the concept and essence of crime beyond the academic scope of criminal law, with the extensive knowledge background of the all criminal sciences, even sociology and other humanities and social sciences. Especially, with broad vision and knowledge background, not only have these researches promoted the enrichment and prosperity of criminology theory, but also established the position of criminology as the foundation of criminal law. It also indicates that great achievements had been made in the concept of criminal law, the perfection of legislation and the reform of the judicature. Of course, at present the theoretical controversy over the crime essence is still broad. It should be said that controversy helps to identify problems, and controversy should also have clear theoretical premises.

In the author’s opinion, the problem what exactly the crime is should distinguish ‘ought to be’ from ‘actually to be’, and ‘facts’ from ‘norms’. These different questions which are distinguished belong to different theoretical levels and research perspectives. The same is true for the crime essence. (A) Relevance: The crime definition of criminal law provides the boundary of knowledge for the crime term used by people, and also sets the starting point of the discussion on the crime concept in criminology. Based on its disciplinary characteristics, criminology reveals the social nature of criminal facts and the rationality of the legal provisions for crime, which lays a theoretical foundation in perfecting the crime concept and the legislation of criminal law. (B) Differences: Both criminology and the criminal jurisprudence study the crime essence. However, we should note that the two studies on the crime essence are different in the following aspects, such as the research perspective, the purpose of interpretation, the way of expression, the theoretical level etc. Therefore, it should be noticed that the crime essence has its unique content and unique position in the knowledge system of criminology. (C) Summary: The crime is defined by the criminal law in the form, but there is the essence behind this definition. The crime definition in criminal law takes a society’s mainstream social norm as the standard and the criminal behavior seriously deviates from a society’s mainstream social standard. In essence, crime should be a serious violation of the common interests of the vast majority of people in a society. The common interests of the vast majority of people in a society are compatible with the material living conditions that reflect this society’s historical development. Therefore, the specific connotation of crime is rooted in the material living conditions of the society in a specific historical period, and this also determines that crime has the difference in time and space (See Figure 1). 

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The basic consensus is that since the reform and opening-up, the crime situation in China has shown the following characteristics: continuous growth, increasingly serious and more complex. With a focus on the fluctuation of total crime rate, especially several crime peaks, the judicial statistic shows that the crime situation since the founding of New China can be divided into different stages, and the crime situation of each stage has different quantity characteristics.That is, from the founding of New China to the Cultural Revolution (1950-1965), the crime rate in this period was basically stable, although it fluctuated somewhat. In 1950, because New China was just founded and the society was not stable enough, the crime rate of this year was the peak in this period which was 93.02 cases per 100,000 people and then rapidly dropped to 59.10 cases per 100,000 people in 1951. Between the end of the Cultural Revolution and the reform and opening up (1972-1977), the crime rate in this period was basically stable, and the annual increase or decrease of the crime rate was not large, always hovering between 50-60 cases per 100,000 people. In the initial stage of social transformation after the reform and opening up (1978-1987), the crime rate in this period increased and fluctuated to a certain extent, but the range was not very large. In the deepening stage of social transformation after the reform and opening up (1988-now), the crime rate in this period increases significantly and shows an obvious rising trend in fluctuations. Among them, in 1989, the crime rate (181.49 cases per 100,000 people) increased by 104 cases per 100,000 people compared with the previous year; In 1990, the crime rate exceeds 200 cases per 100,000 people (up to 200.90 cases per 100,000 people); In 2001, the crime rate exceeds 300 cases per 100,000 people (up to 360.42 cases per 100,000 people); In 2009, the crime rate exceeds 400 cases per 100,000 people (up to 422.08 cases per 100,000 people); In 2015, the crime rate exceeds 500 cases per 100,000 people (up to 521.24 cases per 100,000 people). (See Table 1 & Figure 2).


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B. Criminal Types Situation

At the same time, a description of the types of crime is also taken seriously. Scholars have carried out in-depth studies on the realistic characteristics of many types of crimes in criminology, such as violent crime, sexual crime, property crime, economic crime, duty crime, juvenile delinquency, re-offending, female crime, computer crime, environmental crime, organized crime (underworld), Mafia-like gangs, individual extreme violent crime, indiscriminate homicide etc. Some types of crimes, such as terrorist crimes, cybercrimes, high-tech crimes, cult crimes etc., are becoming increasingly a hot topic in criminology. In these researches, there is not only qualitative analysis of typical cases, but also quantitative description of statistics. For example, the book Interpretation of Underworld selects a large number of typical cases to show the characteristics of underworld.  As another example, by analyzing the judicial statistics, the researcher concluded that: In recent years, the proportion of property crimes and assault crimes were gradually decreasing, while the proportion of crimes against public security and social order were increasing day by day (See Table 2). This characteristic indicates that China’s modernization process has not increased property crime. On the opposite, American criminologist Louise Shelley believes that the modernization process will lead to the growth of property crime.

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V. THE CRIME CAUSATION


A. The Overall Situation


The crime causation belongs to the core knowledge of criminology. It is not only the revelation of the formation of criminal phenomena, but also the theoretical basis of crime countermeasures. During the period of the reform and opening-up, the status of Chinese criminology research is as follows: First, the mainstream view occupied the theory of criminology is the theory of comprehensive factors of the crime causation. Most of the researches explained the crime causation by simply enumerating many factors of crime, and part of researches tried to reveal the cause mechanism of crime from a unique aspect. Second, the theoretical perspective of these researches on the crime causation includes macroscopic researches or microscopic researches, static researches or dynamic researches. More attention is paid on the researches of criminal sociology and the researches of criminal psychology. Third, as for the methodology, although many researches have focused on the interpretation of the crime causation by a logical deduction, there are many analyses of the crime causation which was carried out by an empirical method.

It should be pointed out that, in general, since the reform and opening-up, great progress has been made in the theory of the crime causation in China. However, there are some parts missing as well. For example, the theory of crime causation which has profound analytic function is not well constructed; in the specific research, the theoretical division of macro and micro is not clear enough; the dynamic analysis of the crime causation has not attracted enough attention; the empirical research based on crime statistics has not been as popular as it should be; some important topics, such as Life Course and Crime, has hardly been studied; the research of criminology lacks the strong support of sociological knowledge, etc. The following is an overview of the main status of the current research on the crime causation in China.


B. The Comprehensive Factor Theory


This view argues that crime causation should be a combination of various factors that give rise to the crime. Its specific characteristics are as follows: The single factor of the crime causation is negated, and the multi-element of the crime causation factor is emphasized; each element of the crime is parallel to each other, and the specific weight and interaction relation of these factors are not specifically elucidated; the core proposition is very abstract and had an applicable effect on the crime causation interpretation of a wide range of situations. For example, it was believed that crime is the result of social comprehensive factors, or that the crime causation lay in the combined effects of various factors.

There are some theories of the crime causation, although they pay more attention to the level division of various factors of crime and the interaction between the various levels, still they emphasize the comprehensive integration of all kinds of common criminal factors, and there is no clear explanation of the key factors and their interaction in various criminal factors. For example, some scholars believed that ‘the crime causation consists of external and internal causes’, ‘the level of the structure of the crime causation mainly refers to the difference of the level of the crime causation’, and the order in which crime is formed is ‘from the crime causation through the crime scene to the crime act’. Strictly speaking, these theories of the crime causation still did not break through the basic framework of the comprehensive factor theory of crime causation; they only make the division of the general category of various specific criminal factors, and determine their relative hierarchy position in the course of the crime formation.

To summarize the criminology research since the reform and opening up, the criminal factors listed in the comprehensive factor theory mainly include such as: First, social factors, including political, economic, cultural, educational, moral, family, legal system, population, management deficiencies, crackdown on crime, etc. Among them, (a) political factors emphasize on the following crime factors such as class struggle, malpractice of political system, failure of state policy, lack of restriction of power, corruption of public officials, etc. (b) Economic factors emphasize on the following crime factors such as the gap between the rich and the poor, the effect of the commodity economy, the transition of the old and new systems, the different economic conflicts, etc. Moreover, there are different viewpoints which are the inevitable synchronous growth theory and the non-inevitable synchronous growth theory about the relationship between economic development and the growth of crime. (c) Moral factors emphasize on the following crime factors such as social moral conflict, extreme individualism, money worship, the idea of instant pleasure, moral vacuum or anomie, etc. Second, environmental factors, including season, climate, community building, etc. Third, subject factors, including psychological factors (psychological tendency, personality characteristics, psychological perversion), physiological factors (age, sex, heredity). Among them, age factors specifically explains the following topics such as the difference of crime rate between different age groups, the influence of age on crime type, the relationship between the age of first crime and the possibility of recidivism, etc. Fourth, victim factors, etc.

In particular, it needs to be explained here that, Chinese comprehensive factor theory is not entirely equivalent to the American integrated theory. Although they all emphasize that the crime causation is the effect of various factors. The comprehensive factor theory only enumerates all kinds of factors in the explanation of the crime causation, such as social, economic, cultural, educational, physiological, psychological factors, etc., but does not explain the relationship between these factors and how these factors are integrated in the formation of crime. So the comprehensive factor theory not only lacks a unique theoretical perspective, also it does not involve issues like life course and potential traits. Unlike this, the integrated theory ‘by integrating a variety of ecological, socialization, psychological, biological, and economic factors into a coherent structure’ explains the individual crime formation, which ‘attempts to blend seemingly independent concepts into coherent explanations of criminality’. So not only does the integrated theory stress ‘coherent structure’, but also it has a unique theoretical perspective, namely, ‘the natural history of a criminal career’. And this theory ‘is sometimes referred to as developmental criminology’ which includes ‘multifactor theories, latent trait theories, and life course theories’.

In the author’s opinion, the comprehensive factor theory does reflect the objective reality of the crime causation, and the display of these crime factors also broadens the specific content and research path on the crime causation. However, it was difficult to construct the profound proposition of the theory about the crime causation, because this kind of display is just a multi-enumeration of the crime factors. Moreover, due to the difference between the crime causation, the crime root and the crime conditions, among this kind of display of the crime causation, certain factors should belong to the category of the crime conditions or the crime root. For example, internal management deficiencies of units should be a factor in the crime conditions; however, it is recognized as a factor in the crime causation. With the specialized knowledge development of criminology, especially with the deepening of theoretical research, the comprehensive factor theory is more of a common-sense view in the contemporary. In other words, on the whole, the comprehensive factor theory of the crime causation still reflected the theoretical characteristics and mode of thinking which existed in the initial stage of the research of crime causation. It was closer to some of the theories of the crime causation that came into being at the beginning of modern criminology. For example, Ferri’s ternary theory of crime causation. They are both pluralism of criminal factors and concern for the content of the various crime factors. This theory of crime causation does not expose the key factors of various crime factors and does not explain mode of action of these key factors from a unique research perspective, therefore they do not have the proper characteristics of the contemporary theory of crime causation. At present, the research of the crime causation should reveal the mechanism of the cause of crime (the theory of the crime causation mechanism). However, Ferri’s ternary theory of crime causation is more concentrated, concise and clear than the comprehensive factor theory which is merely a comprehensive listing of the crime factor.


C. The Crime Causation Mechanism Theory


The crime causation mechanism theory does not negate the pluralism of crime factors, but it emphasizes more on the core factors of these multiple crime factors and focuses on the interaction of these core factors in contributing to crime. Mechanism refers to the process and mode of interaction between the various components of a work system and the crime cause mechanism refers to the interaction mode of some key factors in the formation of crime. In other words, the crime causation mechanism theory explains the crime in a unique and in-depth theoretical perspective. Specifically, this theory has the following characteristics: Firstly, on the basis of the comprehensive investigation of the crime factors under the specific social background, more emphasis is placed on the relative specific key crime factors. Secondly, the key crime factors are not the direct statement of ordinary social factors or individual factors, but the specific technical terms with theoretical abstract meaning based on revealing the crime causation. For example, instead of using ‘political factors’, ‘individual factors’ or ‘psychological factors’ as key terms, the terms, such as ‘social bond’, ‘attachment’, ‘commitment’, ‘belief’, ‘involvement’ and ‘middle-class measuring rods’, are regarded as key terms, which belong to an important part of the crime causation theory. Thirdly, the key crime factors are identified as having different levels of status in the formation of crime, and the interplay between these key crime factors is accounted for. Fourthly, there is a centralized and specific core proposition which explains the crime causation based on a unique theoretical perspective in depth. Fifthly, generally speaking, this theory has not only the support of empirical data but also the knowledge background of sociology or psychology.

The theory of dissolving blocking of crime causation can be regarded as a typical theoretical model based on the idea of the crime causation mechanism theory. Specifically, with the Durkheim’s theory of social anomic and Robert Merton’s theory of anomie as the background, from a social structural perspective of crime analysis, empirical data show that it is necessary to build a model of crime causation in terms of dissolving and blocking. Its core proposition is that: Firstly, crime has its social causes, but the key to grasping those lies in identifying the decisive variables in criminal offenses, the relationships between various variables and the degrees of correlation of the variables. That is, crime in contemporary Chinese society is mainly due to the tension of social structure that cannot be dissolved in the process of social disintegration, and this tension produces the adverse effects on the individual life of the criminal. Undissolved tension is the direct and decisive factor of crime causation. This conclusion is based on the quantitative analysis of field investigation. Secondly, on the macro level, the increase of the crime rate in the transition period of Chinese society is mainly caused by the social tension caused by the dispersion of values and the imbalance of social stratification (the huge gap between the rich and the poor), especially the lack of reasonable and effective institutions to dissolve the tension. The simplified formula is: Crime Rate ≈ Tension (Dispersion of Values + Imbalance of Social Stratification) - Dissolving (Reasonable and Effective Institutions). This conclusion can be empirically verified from the changes of social phenomena and their interrelationships in the transition period. Thirdly, on the micro level, the individual criminal behavior is positively correlated with the tension formed by the distance between the target and the reality, and negatively correlated with the dissolving formed by the legal method and the cost of law-breaking. The simplified formula is: Crime Behavior ≈ Tension (Target -Reality) - Dissolving (Legal Method + Cost of Law-breaking). This proposition of the crime causation of at the micro level can be empirically verified by the quantitative analysis of the statistical survey of the criminal population. Fourthly, this proposition especially emphasizes the role of low cost of law-breaking in the formation of crime, in other words, the low cost of law-breaking turns out to be an important factor contributing to the increase in crime. Specifically, crime is mainly due to the person in a certain social structure who has a higher expected goal of social life sources, especially the wealth of the instrumental, but in fact the person’s possession of these resources cannot meet the higher goal. So the distance between the target and reality builds a strong tension, and especially the anxiety is unable to be resolved. The main manifestation is that although society does not fail to provide a person with certain legal methods, the low cost of law-breaking induces a person to commit crimes. The current status of social anomie such as official corruption, social moral defects, weak awareness of criminal law etc. affects the individual crime. To deal with the crime, it should punish the corruption severely, construct or perfect the realistic moral system, improve the judicial efficiency, strengthen the criminal law education and so on. From this, the direction of dissolving is twisted, and the tension is reduced.

Since the reform and opening-up, with the further development of criminology research in China, the theoretical construction of this kind crime causation mechanism has attracted more and more attention in the academic community, and has been reflected in some achievements, but the number of achievement is still quite small. Especially, the crime causation mechanism theory which is based on the empirical method, supported by some sociological theory and based on a unique research perspective is rarer. To a certain extent, this shows that there is still a certain distance between the current theory of crime causation in China and the modern advanced theory of crime causation.


D. The Macro-research and the Micro-research


In the research of criminology, it is necessary to distinguish between macro research and micro research, because the problem consciousness and research object of these two kinds of research are different. Firstly, the macro research is to reveal the existence mechanism and the formation mechanism of the overall criminal phenomenon. For this, the overall criminal phenomenon refers to the comprehensive manifestation of criminal phenomenon which exists in a certain country or region within a certain period of time and is formed on the basis of a specific social background. This research can be divided into the following three specific questions: (a) Crime as the normal phenomenon of society, that is, crime as the social physiological phenomenon. (b) Crime as the abnormal phenomenon society, that is, crime as the social pathological phenomenon. (c) The forming and changing mechanism of the overall criminal phenomenon. Secondly, the micro research is to reveal the formation mechanism of individual criminal phenomenon, which is the research of criminal biology, criminal psychology and criminal sociology. Among them, the micro-research of criminal sociology studies the formation mechanism of bad personality based on the perspective such as socialization process, executive unit of socialization, life course and so on. The executive units of socialization include family, peer group, school, community, mass media and work unit. The research of life course studies how the individual criminal behavior to be affected by important events in life, age-level roles etc.

At present, the specific status of these two kinds of research in China is as follows: The first one is the macro research: (a) Crime as a normal phenomenon: on the nature of normal criminal phenomenon and its position in social structure, there are obvious controversies in Chinese criminology theory. Negativists do not admit that crime can also be regarded as a normal phenomenon of society, and they believe that crime is a negative attribute for society. On the contrary, the views of positive believe that crime can be regarded as a normal social phenomenon under normal social state, and they maintain that crime bears the function of social structure. (b) Crime as an abnormal phenomenon: most Chinese scholars believe that the sustained increasing crime rate in China at the present stage is a kind of irregular criminal phenomenon, which is a typical manifestation of the social anomie in the current social transformation. The formation of this criminal phenomenon is closely related to some unreasonable aspects of social structure. Crime is a window of society and the fluctuation of crime is a concentrated reflection of social change. (c) The Crime Causation Mechanism: most researches merely list a variety of criminal factors from a macro perspective or explain the specific content of a particular criminal factor. There are not many crime causation mechanism theories. This has been described in the comprehensive factor theory and the crime causation mechanism theory above. The second one is the micro research: (a) Social factors play a dominant role in determining the formation of individual crime. This view has been generally accepted by the Chinese theory of crime causation, and also has become the consensus of people slowly. (b) The criminal biology is underdeveloped and does not receive the attention it deserved. Comparatively speaking, criminal sociology and criminal psychology have received more attention, and have achieved more gratifying theoretical results. (c) In general, this kind of micro-research is still just a list of micro criminal factors, or just a classification of micro criminal factors. There are few crime causation mechanism theories, about this to see the crime causation mechanism theories above. (d) In explaining the crime causation system of individual crime, some scholars advocate that physiological factors and psychological factors belong to the subjective factors, while micro-social factors belong to the objective factors. Some scholars do not make a distinction between macro and micro factors, but take them together as part of a certain factor. For example, factors such as family, school, community, superstructure, legal system, social customs, parties etc. are indiscriminately regarded as social factors. (e) The researches on special topics, such as family and crime, personality characteristics and crime, community and crime, school education and crime, bad association and crime, have received extensive attention and obtained more research results.


E. The Deductive Method and the Empirical Method


The logical deduction is an indispensable link in scientific research, and the empirical method is an important feature of factual science. Logical deduction and empirical method are both important means of criminological research. In this respect, there are the following characteristics in the researches of the crime causation in China.

Some research topics are dominated by logical deduction. It should be said that revealing the crime causation is an interpretation of social facts; therefore it has a very obvious empirical characteristic. However, even in the researches of crime causation, the proportion of empirical methods should be changed according to the specific content of the interpretation topic. For example, there is a greater proportion of logical thinking in the following explanations, such as the basic concept of the crime causation, the path of study of crime causation, etc., and this is also a reality performance of the theoretical researches of crime causation in China.

As for the empirical method, quantitative research refers to the quantitative disclosure of the correlation between crime and social factors based on statistical method and quantitative analysis, and qualitative research refers to the qualitative disclosure of the correlation between crime and social factors based on typical case analysis. Since reform and opening-up, both of these two research methods have been used by Chinese scholars in the research of crime causation. However, more attention is paid to quantitative research than qualitative research. There seems to be a tendency of equating empirical research with quantitative research in Chinese criminology. In fact, empirical research on crime can be either a quantitative research of statistics method or a qualitative research of typical case analysis, which depends upon primary data. Before the foundation of the People’s Republic of China, Professor Yan Jingyao, a famous Chinese criminologist, carried out a typical case investigation in Beijing prison, and based on it, he wrote a famous work Crime in Relation to Social Change in China, which can be regarded as a milestone in the history of Chinese criminology research.

Another characteristic in the researches of the crime causation in China is that empirical data mainly comes from judicial statistics. But criminal judicial statistics is different from crime statistics. Criminal judicial statistics refers to that the quantitative statistics is carried out in order to satisfy the needs of the evaluation of the judicial situation and the general analysis of the facts of crime. And crime statistics refers to that the quantitative statistics is carried out by researchers based on scientific methods of investigation and statistics. The purpose of crime statistics is to make a macroscopic empirical test on the theoretical assumption of the research or to reveal some facts of crime empirically for the purpose of a special research. It should be pointed out that, the source of empirical data is usually the original data, but also does not exclude secondary data. Crime statistics based on specialized crime research have more theoretical value, but judicial statistics are also important. At present, the empirical research of the crime causation mostly relies on judicial statistics in China, while there is less analysis relying on the original data which is collected in accordance with the requirements of quantitative statistics and research needs. There is also a lack of empirical research on calibration of judicial statistics. For example, two types of criminal investigations emerged in the US in the 1940s and 1960s: self-reporting and victim investigation.


F. The Researches on the Criminal Sociology


The criminal sociology refers to a kind of the knowledge system which is formed by using sociological theories and research methods to conduct in-depth research on the social nature, phenomena, causations and countermeasures of crime. The problem of crime causation is certainly the core content of the research of criminal sociology.

Since reform and opening-up, the criminal sociology has also been greatly developed in China. This is manifested in the following ways: First, researchers in criminology are paying more and more attention to the sociological research of the crime causation. Second, the good atmosphere in the professional field has formed. Third, a number of gratifying achievements have also produced in the research on the criminal sociology. Fourth, a large number of professional papers and theoretical books on criminal sociology have been published. Among them, not only the knowledge system of sociology of crime gradually comes into being, but also special works which explain the social reason theory of crime around a core proposition are created. At the same time, there are also good signs in the education of criminal sociology. Some colleges or universities such as the Department of Sociology of Peking University, Law School of Renmin University of China, not only offer undergraduate courses in criminal sociology field, but also set up a Master’s degree, a Doctoral degree and a postdoctoral mobility station for criminal sociology research direction.

However, it should also be noted that the criminal sociology in China is not yet mature. This is manifested in the following ways: First, there is a relative disconnect between the research of criminology and sociology, and the research of crime has not been paid attention enough in the specialized field of sociology. Second, the interpretation of some criminal sociology is still in general form which lacks the more strict knowledge characteristics of professional sociology. To some extent, this situation restricts the empirical research on crime based on the strict and standardized quantitative statistical method.


VI. THE CRIME COUNTERMEASURE


A. The Overall Situation


Chinese criminology adopts the knowledge system of the broad sense of criminology, which means that crime countermeasure is an important part of the criminology system. The crime countermeasure refers to the various principles and measures of preventing crime and controlling crime based on the revelation of the crime causation, which belongs to the final goal of criminology research. The crime countermeasure includes the social countermeasure and the criminal countermeasure.

Social countermeasures are the social policies which are important to curb crime and enable the coordinated operation of social organisms. Although these social policies are not especially aimed at governance of crime, their actual effects are the best countermeasures of crime. In this sense, the German criminal law master Liszt had a famous saying: ‘the best social policy is the best criminal policy.’ Since reform and opening-up, Chinese sociological researches have made a great contribution in this respect and many good strategies and measures are put forward in improving social security, such as increasing employment opportunities, constructing a rhombus society, narrowing regional differences, improving moral literacy, and improving the educational system, etc. These ideas promote the civilization and development of the whole society to a great extent.

The criminal countermeasure refers to the criminal policies, including the tactics, principles and systematic measures to deal with crime, which point to the crime control and crime prevention. Obviously, social countermeasures belong to the category of pure sociology, so criminal countermeasures are mainly discussed here. Since reform and opening-up, the researches of criminal countermeasures have also showed a thriving scene in China and a number of research results have been published one after another, these research results also take an important significance in theoretical and practical circle. Specifically, it is mainly manifested in the aspects such as the ideas of preventing crime and controlling crime, the policy of comprehensive management of public security, the criminal policy of combining leniency with rigidity etc.


B. The Research of Preventing Crime


Preventing crime refers to a series of activities to prevent crime behavior and social crime phenomenon in advance, that is, the state, society and individuals take various strategies and measures to reduce and eliminate the factors leading to the formation of crimes based on the revelation of the crime causation. Since reform and opening-up, the problems of preventing crime have been deeply discussed. These problems include the basic concept, system framework, specific measures, decision-making mechanism, subject of prevention, and so on in preventing crime. Researchers have put forward many ideas, such as macro prevention and micro prevention, crime prevention and society prevention, comprehensive prevention etc.


C. The Research of Controlling Crime


Crime control refers to a series of activities to limit, control and curb crime behavior and social crime phenomenon, that is, the state, society and individuals take various measures and methods to reduce and eliminate the factors leading to the occurrence of crimes based on the disclosure of the crime conditions. Since reform and opening-up, with the further development of the research, controlling crime has gradually become a relatively independent category of crime countermeasures, which has been paid attention in some special researches and crime countermeasure theory system. At the present stage, the concept of no way to eliminate crime has basically become a common understanding.


D. The Researches of Criminal Policy


The research of criminal policy has received unprecedented attention. Some important topics of criminal policy have been lively discussed, including concept and characteristics of criminal policy, subject status, knowledge system, value objectives and basic principles, history and present situation, formulation and implementation, comparison between China and foreign countries, and specific criminal policy from different angles of view, etc. In these studies, not only the researches on the construction of the whole knowledge system of criminal policy are carried out, but also the special researches on one aspect of criminal policy were created.


E. The Policy of Comprehensive Management of Public Security


This is a basic national policy which aims at solving the social security problem fundamentally in view of the increasingly severe social security situation since China’s reform and opening-up. The policy was put forward by the government in 1991 based on the theoretical achievements and practical experience of crime researches, which occupies a prominent position in the theory of Chinese crime researches and plays an important role in the practice of the crime control and prevention.


F. The Criminal Policy of Combining Leniency with Rigidity


The criminal policy of combining leniency with rigidity was originally expressed as the combination of punishment and leniency. This criminal policy was gradually formed on the basis of the theory and practice of the long-term struggle against the enemy in China’s revolution, and has become the primary ideological norm leading the theory and practice of punishing crime in China for a long time. It occupies a prominent position in the legislative and judicial aspects of criminal disposition. At present, this basic criminal policy has gained a new round of extensive attention, has been injected into the ideological essence of the times day by day, and especially is being pushed forward towards the center of the idea of combining leniency with rigidity.

G. The Improvement Direction of Follow-up Researches


Of course, we should also see that there is some room for improvement in the research of crime countermeasures in China at the present stage. For example, some concepts and ideas are not well understood, such as the theoretical division of preventing crime and controlling crime, their respective basic concepts, knowledge systems, etc. From the specific measures of the criminal countermeasure proposed the macroscopic explanation is more than the microscopic explanation. Especially, the maneuverability and the performability are inadequate in some criminal countermeasure measures. Some research subjects have not been carried out in depth, such as how to improve the theoretical construction of criminal law based on the basic idea of criminal policy, how to systematically promote the reform of Chinese criminal law system, etc.


VII. CONCLUSION


In short, since the reform and opening-up 40 years ago, Chinese criminology theory has made great progress from nothing to existence, from weakness to strength. However, compared with modern criminology, there is still a long way to go in the status of criminology, rationality of research methods and advancement of knowledge content, etc. The subject status of Chinese criminology has not received due attention, the knowledge system of criminology is not yet mature, the understanding of the crime essence is not deep enough, the description of crime phenomenon is lack of empirical first-hand information, the professional characteristics of the theory of crime causation are still inadequate, and some measures of crime countermeasures are lack of concreteness and maneuverability. Not to mention that a school of criminology could be formed. We should make every effort to promote the continued development of Chinese criminology and break the current pattern of slow progress in development.


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