The Conference organizers are circulating the essays of participants. My contribution, "Blacklists and Social Credit Regimes in China" explores the centrality of "lists" to the project of developing systems of credit and rating regimes tied to an equally complex regime of restrictions and privileges that follow from one's place within rating and credit regimes. In the process I suggest how the language of lists (whether lists of ratings or lists of identified persons or businesses that have met some sort of consequential thresh hold for action) is displacing the classical language of law. More important, the sensibilities of ratings and its focus on gathering information and subjecting them to analysis that can be machine learned and administered, shifts the object of law from a normative to a constituting function. The ramifications for education as wel as the construction of rule of law systems remains largely unexplored--if only because the character of the displacing system remains elusive.
The systemic construction of a national, coordinated CSC, then, represents an effort to substitute for law-based systems of behavior management, a system of restrictions and privileges based on a set of behavior models and goals, which is operated through a system of monitoring which is based on conformity to behavior objectives. This is data driven governance articulated through analytics, the consequences of which are established through restriction-reward algorithms. At the center of this system, then, are lists. Lists that follow rating and scoring behaviors (analytics) and provide the basis for the application of judgment (restrictions and privileges). Constructing a list, like the construction of the Social Credit system built around them, then, is the summary expression of the operation of the social credit system itself. To construct these lists requires a tight coordination of at least ten elements. Each of which is briefly considered below.