I want to...
Wang Peng

Dr Wang Peng

Assistant Professor

+852 3917 2058

9.03, 9/F., The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus


Peng Wang is a criminologist focusing on organized crime, corruption, bureaucracy and governance.

His book The Chinese Mafia: Organized Crime, Corruption, and Extra-legal Protection develops an empirical analysis of the rise of extra-legal protection in contemporary China by emphasizing two major types of unlawful protectors—the ‘Red Mafia’ (corrupt officials) and the ‘Black Mafia’ (locally-based criminal groups).

Peng is also an associate member of the Extra-legal Governance Institute, University of Oxford.

Courses taught


King’s College London

MA Criminology and Criminal Justice
King’s College London

East China University of Political Science and Law (Shanghai, China)

Research interests

Crime and anti-crime
Corruption and anti-corruption
Bureaucracy and governance
Economic sociology
Law and society
China studies

Current research

Face, emotional bonding and corruption: How middlemen facilitate corrupt exchanges in China

Anti-corruption and the decline of the social relation-based development model

Explaining the persistence of campaign-style policing in China

Selected publications


Wang, P. (2017) The Chinese Mafia: organized crime, corruption and extra-legal protection. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Winner, The Social Sciences Outstanding Research Output Awards 2016-2017 for Basic Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, The University of Hong Kong

Journal articles:

Varese, F. & Wang, P. & Wong, Rebecca W. Y. (2019). ‘Why should I trust you with my money?’: credible commitments in the informal economy in China. The British Journal of Criminology.

Li, L. & Wang, P. (in press). From Institutional Interaction to Institutional Integration: The National Supervisory Commission and China’s New Anti-corruption Model. The China Quarterly. (corresponding author)

Wang, P. & Wang, J (2018). How China promotes its military officers: Interactions between formal and informal institutions. The China Quarterly. 234, 399-419.

Wang, P. & Cho, L. F. & Li, R. (2018). An Institutional Explanation of Media Corruption in China. Journal of Contemporary China. 27(113), 748-762.

Wang, P. (2016). Military Corruption in China: The role of guanxi in the buying and selling of military positions. The China Quarterly. 228. 970-991.

Wang, P. & Antonopoulos, G. (2016). Organized crime and illegal gambling: How Do Illegal Gambling Enterprises Respond to the Challenges Posed by Their Illegality in China?. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology. 49 (2), 258-280.

Skarbek D. & Wang, P. (2015). Criminal Rituals. Global Crime. 16(4), 288-305.

Wang, P. (2014). Extra-legal protection in China: How guanxi distorts China’s legal system and facilitates the rise of unlawful protectors. The British Journal of Criminology. 54 (4). 809-830.

Wang, P. & Blancke, S. (2014). Mafia State: The Evolving Threat of North Korean Narcotics Trafficking. The RUSI Journal. 159 (5). 52-59.

Broadhurst, R. & Wang, P. (2014). After the Bo Xilai Trial: Does Corruption Threaten China’s Future?. Survival: Global Politics and Strategy. 56 (3). 157-178.

王鵬(著),李曉敏(譯),‘中國經濟改革與法外保護興起’《新制度經濟學評論》第26卷, 第166~189頁。被人大複印資料《理論經濟學》2014年第8期全文轉載。

Wang, P. (2013). The Increasing Threat of Chinese Organised Crime: National, Regional and International Perspectives. The RUSI Journal. 158 (4). 6-18.

Wang, P. (2013). The Rise of the Red Mafia in China: A Case Study of Organised Crime and Corruption in Chongqing. Trends in Organized Crime. 16 (1). 49-73.

Wang, P. (2011). The Chinese Mafia: Private Protection in a Socialist Market Economy. Global Crime. 12 (4). 290-311.

Book chapters:

Wang, P. (forthcoming) ‘Red Mafia’, in Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology (2nd Edition). London: Wiley-Blackwell.

Wang, P. (2015). Organized Crime in a Transitional Economy: The Resurgence of the Criminal Underworld in Contemporary China. G. Barak (Ed.). Routledge International Handbook on the Crimes of the Powerful. Pages 401-11. Routledge.

See all publications in HKU Scholars Hub →