Suzanne Scoggins is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Clark University. Her research interests include policing, protest management, bureaucratic politics, rights consciousness, and authoritarian control in reform era China. Her book manuscript, Policing in the Shadow of Protest, looks at the police bureaucracy in China, and explores how different patterns of bureaucratic control over local police affect law enforcement personnel and local state security.

Crime and Punishment on a Chinese Border

Zhao Liang’s 2007 documentary Crime and Punishment details the emergence of a local police state in a small Chinese town on the border with North Korea. The film follows national border officers who have been called in to take over the town’s policing duties, and the ways in which they interact with local people. As the film unfolds, one incident after another, viewers are drawn into a world of policing which is slow, tiresome, petty, and punctuated with violence.

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