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Black's Theory on The Behavior of Law Revisited III: Law as More or Less Governmental Social Control
International Journal of the Sociology of Law (1998)
  • Kam C. Wong
Abstract

In 1976 Donald Black introduced a scientific social theory on The Behavior of Law. Black defines law as “governmental social control.” In 1997, Wong restated Black’s concept of law as “more or less governmental social conrol.” Law as more or less governmental social control exists when the government endorses private social control activities or otherwise delegates social control powers to private parties. This research used Wong’s restatement of Black’s concept of law to investigate the law enforcement role and functions of the Strike Committee during the Canton-Hong Kong strike (1925-1926). It found that during the Canton-Hong Kong strike the KMT National government in Guangzhou delegated broad police powers to the CCP led Strike Committee jiuchadui as well as providing it with an abundance of material and moral support to perform vital police functions, including enforcing strike laws, maintaining strike order, and securing strike discipline. The KMT, the CCP, the British government, the Hong Kong press, and the Chinese public at that time referred to the Strike Committee variously as the “mini-government”, “second government” or “revolutionary law enforcement.” Notwithstanding this fact, Black’s concept of law (as “governmental social control”) could not be made to apply to the Canton-Hong Kong Strike Committee, then functioning as an undisputed “governmental social control” agency. This conceptual lapse can be cured by applying Wong’s restatement to Black’s concept of law, i.e. defining law as “more or less governmental social control.”

Keywords
  • Behaviof of law,
  • Donald Black,
  • Chinese law
Disciplines
Publication Date
1998
Citation Information
Kam C. Wong. "Black's Theory on The Behavior of Law Revisited III: Law as More or Less Governmental Social Control" International Journal of the Sociology of Law Vol. 26 Iss. 3 (1998)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kam_wong/18/