This chapter has two related aims. The first is to illustrate that the designers of the recent shequ reorganization programme have harked back to institutions and organizations that have a history in China. In particular, two interlocking modes of political and social control are identified. One is state infrastructural power: society is penetrated by means of vertically integrated hierarchies with a close link to grassroots state organizations. The other is community self-organization and control. The second aim is to substantiate our argument that this reorganization of the Residential Committees (RCs) in urban China was a direct reaction to the fact that rising instability could not be averted by the means at the disposal of either state or social groups. Hence, we are going to show that (a) social control and stability decreased in urban China and that the Party-state began to lose control over these developments because it had relinquished many of the instruments that had formerly enabled it to punish deviant behaviour; and (b) China’s urban neighbourhoods were subject to increased fragmentation and disintegration, which caused the mechanisms of community control over the individual to weaken.