Trajectory of Women’s Advancement in Policing: A Comparative Study Between China and the United States


With a comparative lens, this article explores the trajectory of women’s advancement in policing in China and the United States (US), two major countries, one in the Global South and the other in the Northern part of the world. The article describes the rich history of women police in the US and China and compares the development of women policing in these two jurisdictions, which are sharply contrasting in many respects. Starting from the model of women’s stage-by-stage integration into policing developed in the Northern contexts, we examine women’s evolution in police and their local conditions in the two systems. Framed in Southern Criminology and Southern Theory, we conclude that the US model of sexual integration does not apply to China, where traditional cultural norms continue to reinforce women’s gendered roles in policing. More generally, the progress of women is unlikely, nor necessary, to share the same trajectory everywhere.

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Except where otherwise noted, content in this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Published: 2022-12-01
Pages:1 to 12
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How to Cite
Shen, A. and Schulz, D. M. . . (2022) “Trajectory of Women’s Advancement in Policing: A Comparative Study Between China and the United States”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 11(4), pp. 1-12. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.2344.

Author Biographies

Northumbria University
 United Kingdom

Dr Anqi Shen is Professor of Law at Northumbria Law School, Northumbria University Newcastle, United Kingdom. Her research focus is in the areas of sentencing, judicial culture, policing, organised crime, youth, gender, crime and justice, the legal profession, migration and crime. She is author of Offending Women in Contemporary China: Gender and pathways into crime (Palgrave, 2015), of Women Judges in Contemporary China: Gender, judging and living (Palgrave, 2017), and of Internal Migration, Crime and Punishment in Contemporary China: An inquiry into rural migrant offenders (Springer, 2018), and co-author of Fake Goods, Real Money: The counterfeiting business and its financial management (Policy Press, 2018). 

John Jay College of Criminal Justice
 United States

Dorothy Moses Schulz (Ph.D., Professor) Police Studies and Criminal Justice Administration, John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY), New York.