Benjamin van Rooij
Professor of Law
John S. and Marilyn Long Professor of U.S.-China Business and Law
Director, UCI Long U.S.-China Institute
Joint appointment in Criminology, Law and Society, School of Social Ecology
Co-Editor, Regulation and Governance
Editor in Chief, China Law and Society Review
Regulatory theory, law enforcement, compliance, lawmaking, law and development, environmental law, Chinese law
Benjamin van Rooij is the John S. and Marilyn Long Professor of U.S.-China Business and Law and director of the UCI Long U.S.-China Institute. By affiliation he is Professor of Chinese Law and Regulation at the Faculty of Law at Amsterdam University and director of the Netherlands China Law Centre. Also he is honorary professor at Wuhan University School of Law and long-term visiting professor at Yunnan University School of Law. In 2010, he was visiting faculty at New York University School of Law as a member of the Hauser Global Faculty.
Prof. van Rooij’s research focuses on implementation of law in comparative perspective. Since 2000 he has studied the implementability of legislation, regulatory law enforcement and compliance, and rights invocation and legal empowerment. A central theme is how implementation of law can be improved in the context of emerging markets where weak enforcement and widespread violations of law create a vicious circle undermining compliance. Using insights from sociology of law, criminology, political science and social psychology he uses anthropological methods to study compliance behavior and motivations and public and private enforcement practices. He uses innovative fieldwork data both to seek improvement to persistent implementation problems as well as to reorient existing regulatory, criminological and socio-legal theories that so far have yet to adapt to data from countries such as China. Currently he is working on a popular science book about compliance.
Fields of law studies include environmental law, land law, labor law, food safety law, and taxation. His work has appeared in the The New York Times, Law & Policy, Law & Social Inquiry, and Regulation & Governance.
Prof. van Rooij has served as an adviser to the Dutch Prime Minister, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment.
Current Courses:Legal Profession II, Justice and Development in China
Legal Profession I, Behavioral Analysis: Law Enforcement and Compliance, Access to Justice in China, Law, Governance and Development, Anthropology of Law, Law and Culture, Comparative Legal Analysis, Law and Politics in China, Pollution Regulation in Developing Countries
- Benjamin van Rooij, Weak Enforcement, Strong Deterrence: Dialogues with Chinese Lawyers About Tax Evasion and Compliance, 41 Law & Soc. Inquiry 288 (2016).
- Benjamin van Rooij, Rachel Stern & Kathinka Fürst, The Authoritarian Logic of Regulatory Pluralism, Understanding China’s New Environmental Actors, 10 Reg. & Governance 3 (2016).
- Yifan Shi & Benjamin van Rooij, Prosecutorial Regulation in the Global South: Environmental Civil Litigation by Prosecutors in China compared to Brazil, 10 Reg. & Governance 44 (2016).
- Huiqi Yan, Benjamin van Rooij & Jeroen Van der Heijden, Contextual Compliance: Situational and Subjective Cost-Benefit Decisions about Pesticides by Chinese Farmers, 37 Law & Pol'y 240 (2015).
- Benjamin van Rooij & Alex Wang, China's Polluted Politics, N.Y. Times, May 21, 2014 at A29.
- Benjamin van Rooij, Regulation by Escalation: Unrest, Lawmaking, and Law Enforcement in China, in The Politics of Law and Stability in China 83-107 (Susan Trevaskes, Elisa Nesossi, Flora Sapio & Sarah Biddulph eds., Edgar Elden 2014).
- Benjamin van Rooij &Pip Nicholson, Inflationary Trends in Law and Development, 24 Duke J. Comp. & Int'l L. 297-348 (2014).
- Benjamin van Rooij & L. K. McAllister, Environmental Law Enforcement Alliances in Middle Income Countries, in Law and Development of Middle Income Countries 288-306 (Tom Ginsburg & R.P. Peerenboom eds., Cambridge Univ. Press 2014).
- Carlos W.H. Lo, Gerald E. Fryxell, & Benjamin van Rooij, Enforcement Styles: Changes Over Time, in Institutions, Regulatory Styles, Society and Environmental Governance in China 119-139 (C.W.H. Lo & S.Y. Tang eds., Routledge 2014).
- May 4, 2016:
Recipient, inaugural John and Vivian Sabel Award for best article published in Journal of Contemporary China
- Nov. 19, 2014:
Presenter, “Rule Conditionality in Comparative Perspective,” 2014 American Society for Criminology Conference, San Fransisco
- Nov. 19, 2014:
Panelist, “White Collar Crime at 75: White Collar Crime and Compliance in Comparison,” 2014 American Society for Criminology Conference, San Fransisco
- Oct. 18, 2014:
Presenter, “Weak Enforcement Strong Deterrence,” University of Michigan annual workshop on China
- Sept. 16, 2014:
Keynote Speaker, “Why Is Xi Jinping Focusing China’s Communist Party on the ‘Rule of Law’?” Workshop on Rule of Law in China, Council For Foreign Relations, New York City
- Sept. 19, 2014:
Invited Presenter, “The Authoritarian Logic of Regulatory Pluralism,” Nicholas Institute, Duke University
- June 18, 2014:
Invited Lecturer, “How to Study Compliance,” Graduate Student Master Class, Australia National University, Canberra
- June 17, 2014:
Speaker, “Deterrence without Enforcement: Dialogues with Chinese Lawyers about Tax Evasion and Compliance,” Australia National University
- June 13, 2014:
Presenter, “Regulatory Pluralism and Empowerment: Lessons from China about New Environmental Regulators,” University of Melbourne Law School, Australia
- June 9-11, 2014:
Co-organizer (with Diponegoro University), Conference on Regulation, Power and Legal Empowerment, Semarang, Indonesia
- April 21, 2014:
Speaker, “China’s Compliance Challenge,” UCI Law
- March 25, 2014:
Speaker, “Why Chinese Obey the Law: Lessons from China's Legal Service Sector,” Long Institute Lecture Series on Chinese Law, Business and Society, UCI Law
- Nov. 9-10, 2013:
Co-organizer with Yunnan University Faculty of Law, Training Group on Empirical Methods of Legal Research, Kunming, China
- The Wall Street Journal: Prof. van Rooij quoted re: impact of China’s revised Environmental Protection Law
- New York Times: Prof. van Rooij writes on pollution in China (with Alex Wang)
- 7Sage Law School Prep: Prof. van Rooij interveiwed about his interest in Chinese law
- Orange County Register: Prof. van Rooij's speech on compliance in China at the UCI Law and Psychology event “Beyond CSI”
- Amsterdam Municipal Radio Science Show “Swammerdam” (In Dutch): Prof. van Rooij is interviewed about methods of anthropological research in China
- Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report: Prof. van Rooij's research is summarized in an op-ed by Stanley Lubman
- Helan Zaixian (Holland Online, in Chinese): Interviewed about the Amendments to the Chinese Criminal Procedure Law
- Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report: Research summarized in op-ed by Stanley Lubman