Public Policy

Spatial Analysis of Social Capital based on Geocoding of Civil Lawsuits

Sheng Ye Wuhan University & Department of Public Administration
Civil lawsuits are growing very rapidly in China and reflect to a great extent the degree of underlying social tensions in cities. We do not know at this point, however, the nature and distribution of such tensions in any of China’s urban centers. The release of judicial decisions online enables us to scan and make use of court documents. In our pilot study, we geocoded court opinions from civil lawsuits of neighborhood conflicts in Wuhan, one of China’s seven mega cities, for the past decade from 2014 to 2017. We aim to find first, spatial distribution of these lawsuits in the city. secondly, the underlying economic, political and social factors that contribute to the rise of these conflicts. It is our hope that such an approach could contribute to study the urban social capital from the perspective of neighborhood relations.