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Title: University students' views on political influences and the status of law in post-reform China: A moderation and mediation analysis
Author(s): Lo, Tit Wing 
Author(s): Jiang, G.
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Sage Publications
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 
Volume: 60
Issue: 9
Start page: 1097
End page: 1116
Scholars categorize societies into “rule of man” societies, “rule by law” societies, and “rule of law” societies on the basis of a status of law. After 1978, China’s leaders invoked law as an alternative to the arbitrariness of the Cultural Revolution. In this study, we used quantitative methods to explore university students’ views on the status of law in post-reform China. Surveys were conducted in three national universities located in different regions of China. Responses from university students show that their perceptions of well-developed legislation and perceptions of the publicity of law are associated with their perceptions of equality before the law, which could be the consequence of a “rule of law” system. However, the study found that university students are of the view that the political nature of legislation and interference in law enforcement moderate the relationship between legislation and equality before the law. The political nature of legislation also moderates the mediation effect of interference in law enforcement between law publicity and equality before the law. As such, the article concludes that although university students are no longer primary movers in China’s social and political development after the Tiananmen incident, they are still knowledgeable if not critical about the status of law and its political implications.
DOI: 10.1177/0306624X15572803
CIHE Affiliated Publication: No
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