Kangying Connie Wu Social Science
Urban Mediation Committees in a Modernizing China
Twenty-five years of reform in China have impacted virtually all corners of social life. During the Mao era, urban neighborhood mediation committees helped to resolve disputes and conserve social harmony and stability in the cities. Today, the physical and social structures of China’s cities have changed dramatically, raising questions about whether these remnants of the Mao era can continue to play the same role as before. Connie Wu’s research will explore this question by comparing the present role of the mediation committees in traditional, Maoist, and modern neighborhoods of Beijing. Connie will analyze how factors like history, spatial and physical layout of the neighborhood combine with residents’ social class and community ties to affect the residents attitude towards the mediation committees, and the role of mediators in shaping urban life. Connie’s research will shed light on the relationship among extra-legal bodies, social networks, and the development of China’s legal system.