Administering the City, Policing Commerce
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This chapter focuses on merchant concerns regarding the inadequacy of police protection for commercial needs, the deleterious effect of state security on economic life and shop owners’ demands for better treatment. The vexed relationship between the forces of order and those of economy also highlights a growing division between elite merchants, the intended beneficiaries of many urban reforms, and low status business people, such as street vendors and food mongers, who found themselves and their commerce targeted by new policing regulations. At the same time, the degree and constancy of dissatisfaction with urban policing and safety on the part of businessmen and other civil groups bespoke the existence of many tensions among state and civil authorities over the explicit development, aim and control of the police. In contrast to the general disparagement of baojia and the army as mechanisms of public order, western-style policing, at least as practiced in the Shanghai foreign concessions.