Building Constitutionalism in China

Hardcover | September 15, 2009

EditorStéphanie Balme

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Building Constitutionalism in China represents the most systemic exploration of constitutionalism in China to appear in English in the last twenty years.  It explores how notions of constitutionalism appear to be impacting Chinese society in a wide variety of areas, including not simply juridical aspects such as legal practice, judicial decisionmaking, and legal scholarship and education; but also in possibly more far reach political and social aspects such as political consciousness and social resistance, mobilization and empowerment. Its chapters draw from a wide range of perspectives, and include historical analyses, jurisprudential analyses, ethnographic studies, and comparative analyses by scholars writing from both Chinese and Anglo-European perspectives.

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Building Constitutionalism in China represents the most systemic exploration of constitutionalism in China to appear in English in the last twenty years.  It explores how notions of constitutionalism appear to be impacting Chinese society in a wide variety of areas, including not simply juridical aspects such as legal practice, judicia...

Michael W. Dowdle is currently a visiting professor of law at the National University of Singapore.  He previously held the Chair in Globalization and Governance at Sciences Po.  He was also a Himalayas Foundation Distinguished Visiting Professor in Comparative Law at the Tsinghua Law School and a Senior Fellow of Public Law at the Re...

other books by Stéphanie Balme

Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.88 inPublished:September 15, 2009Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230600328

ISBN - 13:9780230600324

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Table of Contents

Tables and Figures * Contributors * Acknowledgements * Introduction: 1 Exploring for Constitutionalism in 21st Century China--Stéphanie Balme and Michael W. Dowdle * Part I:  Constitutionalism as Envisioning the State * 2 ‘Judicial Politics’ as State-Building--Zhu Suli * 3 Of Constitutions and Constitutionalism: Trying to Build a New Political Order in China, 1908-1949--Xiaohong Xiao-Planes * 4 Epistrophy:  Chinese Constitutionalism and the 1950s--Glenn D. Tiffert * 5 Middle Income Blues: The East Asian Model and Implications for Constitutional Development in China--Randall P. Peerenboom * Part II:  The Development of a ‘Political Jurisprudence’ * 6 China’s Constitutional Research and Teaching: A State of the Art--Tong Zhiwei * 7 Western Constitutional Ideas and Constitutional Discourse in China, 1978-2005--Yu Xingzhong * 8 “To Take the Law as the Public”:  The Diversification of  Society and Legal Discourse in Contemporary China--Ji Weidong * Part III:  Transmitting Constitutionalism:  ‘Judicial Power’ and the Justice System * 9 Administrative Law as a Mechanism for Political Control in Contemporary China--He Xin * 10 Access to Justice and Constitutionalism in China--Fu Hualing * 11 Ordinary Justice and Popular Constitutionalism in China--Stéphanie Balme* 12 Beyond ‘Judicial Power’:  Courts and Constitutionalism in Modern China--Michael W. Dowdle* Part IV:  Towards a Popular Constitutionalism * 13 Citizens Engage the Constitution: The Sun Zhigang Incident and Constitutional Review Proposals in the People’s Republic of China--Keith J. Hand * 14 Rights Activism in China:  The Case of Lawyer Gao Zhisheng--Eva Pils * Epilogue: The Past as Preface:  Constitutionalism in the Late Ming* 15 Virtual Constitutionalism in the Late Ming Dynasty--Pierre-Étienne Will * Bibliography * Index

Editorial Reviews

“Dealing with constitutionalism in China was a risky bet. It meant giving an account of an uncertain and sometimes chaotic process in the making, while avoiding all sorts of interpretations, be they radical skepticism or legal do-gooderism. The result is truly successful, and the comparison with other traditions—an indispensable reference—does not alter the relevance of the Chinese specificity that should interest the international community of legal specialists. This book will encourage constitutional law scholars and all legal professionals (including judges as well as judicial cooperation drafters) to meditate on the issue as it shows that constitutionalism not only concerns the Constitution and its official interpreters, but that in China it represents a real movement and the wake of a legal consciousness. Instructive and inspiring.” —Judge Antoine Garapon  “This volume achieves the rarest of academic feats: it is both a major contribution to the study of modern China and a major contribution to the study of constitutionalism. Historically rich and theoretically sophisticated, the chapters take Chinese constitutionalism on its own terms. Collectively, they unearth antecedents, evaluate recent developments, and identify future trajectories. In doing so, the authors not only illuminate China but also provide an important mirror on Western thinking about constitutions and constitutionalism. This is essential reading for students of East Asia and comparative law.” —Tom Ginsburg, University of Chicago Law School “For an authoritarian system, China has surprisingly robust rule-of-law values built into its constitution. Even more surprisingly, despite the continued vitality of one-party rule, the constitution has exerted growing influence on academic discussion, judicial behavior, and local administration. In this volume, a roster of distinguished Chinese, European, and American contributors probe beneath the surface to show how an emerging constitutionalist trend is softening, although not yet replacing, arbitrary rule. They capture the complexity of Chinese trends with rare sophistication and reawaken our sense of the openness of China’s future.” —Andrew J. Nathan, Class of 1919 Professor of Political Science, Columbia University