Conflict Resolution in China: Cultural Then Political?

  • Xiaoyu Yuan
Part of the Springer Series on Asian Criminology and Criminal Justice Research book series (SSACCJR)


Braithwaite (1999, p. 12) once opined that “Confucius [was] arguably the most influential thinker about restorative justice the world has known.” Deeply influenced by Confucian values and philosophies, Chinese society, as compared with its Western counterparts, is supposed to exhibit a higher degree of interdependency and communitarianism, two characteristics believed to be conducive to the reintegrative shaming of the wrongdoer. Restorative justice, as an umbrella concept – covering various programs that endeavor to bring the wrongdoer and the victim together – did not establish itself until the early 1990s (Strang 2002). It claims to have roots in community conflict resolution mechanisms in the early histories of various societies. The concept of restorative justice may be unknown to the Chinese (Johnstone and Van Ness 2007), but its ideals and values are not new to Chinese society and its people. Mediation, as a peaceful way of resolving conflicts, is a historical reality and continues today. In fact, there are remarkable convergences between restorative justice principles and the Chinese traditional legal culture (Liu and Palermo 2009), although one cannot neglect their distinct differences in terms of their respective value-driven practices (Wong and Mok 2013).


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaoyu Yuan
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Criminal JusticeShanghai University of Political Science and LawShanghaiChina

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