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Social capital and public willingness to cooperate with the police in China

Kang Hu (Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu, China)
Rong Hu (Department of Sociology, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China)
Ivan Sun (Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA)
Yuning Wu (Department of Criminal Justice, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 17 January 2020

Issue publication date: 9 April 2020

Abstract

Purpose

Public cooperation with the police is of great significance in the maintenance of social security and social harmony, but studies investigating the mechanisms of public cooperation with the police in China are scarce. Using survey data obtained from Xiamen, China, the purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of social capital on willingness to cooperate with the police and their mediating mechanisms.

Design/methodology/approach

Data with 938 respondents were used in this study. Ordinary least squares regression models were used to test the influence of social capital on the willingness of the Chinese public to cooperate with the police and its mediating mechanisms.

Findings

The results show that associational life participation, social trust and neighborhood cohesion can all enhance public willingness to cooperate with the police by cultivating public spirit or trust in government, whereas participation in community collective resistance is negatively correlated with willingness to cooperate with the police. Theoretical explanations are offered to understand different effects of social capital elements on public cooperation with the police, and possible ways to foster such cooperation are discussed.

Originality/value

This paper takes the lead in examining the effects of social capital on willingness to cooperate with the police and their mediating mechanisms in China.

Keywords

Citation

Hu, K., Hu, R., Sun, I. and Wu, Y. (2020), "Social capital and public willingness to cooperate with the police in China", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 43 No. 2, pp. 271-283. https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-08-2019-0143

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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