The Politics of Lawmaking in Post-Mao China: Institutions, Processes, and Democratic Prospects

Hardcover | October 1, 1998

byMurray Scot Tanner

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China's struggle to develop it's legal system is helping to drive an `inadvertant transition' towards democratization in the future. Since Mao Zedong's death, the China Communist Party's (CCP) leaders have increasingly shifted to drafting most of their key policies as laws rather than Partyedicts. The result has been a quiet but dramatic change in Chinese politics, recasting the relationship between the key lawmaking institutions: the Communist Party bureaucracy, the Cabinet (State Council), and China's legislaturethe National People's Congress (NPC). No longer a rubber stamp, NPC leadersand deputies, though still overwhelmingly members of the Communist Party, have become far more assertive and less disciplined in their dealings with other top Party and government leaders. Deputies now commonly stall, amend, block, and increasingly vote `no' on proposals approved by the PartyPolitburo and the Cabinet. China's NPC, like successful legislatures elsewhere, has also used its growing bureaucracy and subcommittees as institutional weapons to expand its influence over policy. The Politics of Lawmaking in China is the first book to examine all of the changing political institutions involved in lawmaking, and show how their evolution is reshaping Chinese politics. Drawing on internal documentation and interviews, it includes new information about how the CCP leadershipattempts to guide the increasingly important process of lawmaking, and how this power has eroded greatly since 1978. Through detailed case studies, the book demonstrates how and why the top leadership is often forced to settle for far less than it wants in hammering out laws. Rather than encouraging the sort of anti-communist mass uprising from below that occurred in Eastern Europe in 1989, this book argues that China's changes in lawmaking are contributing to a more quiet transition from within the Communist system.

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China's struggle to develop it's legal system is helping to drive an `inadvertant transition' towards democratization in the future. Since Mao Zedong's death, the China Communist Party's (CCP) leaders have increasingly shifted to drafting most of their key policies as laws rather than Partyedicts. The result has been a quiet but dra...

Murray Scot Tanner is at Western Michigan University.

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Paperback|Feb 2 2007

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:294 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.83 inPublished:October 1, 1998

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198293399

ISBN - 13:9780198293392

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Table of Contents

Part 1. Theoretical Considerations1. Introduction: The New Importance of Lawmaking Politics in China2. Bureaucracies, `Organized Anarchies', and Inadvertant Transitions: Towards New Models of Chinese LawmakingPart 2. Lawmaking Institutions3. The Emergence of China's Post-Mao Lawmaking System4. The Erosion of Party Control Over Lawmaking5. The Rise of the National People's Congress System6. The State Council's Lawmaking SystemPart 3. Case Studies in Lawmaking7. The Case of the Enterprise Bankruptcy Law8. The Case of the State-owned Industrial Enterprises LawPart 4. Conclusions9. Stages and Processes in Chinese Lawmaking10. Lawmaking Reforms and China's Democratic Prospects

Editorial Reviews

`The time is long past due for a comprehensive account of the lawmaking process in China, the various political institutions involved, and the ways in which the respective powers of these institutions are changing in relation to one another. The Politics of Lawmaking in China: Institutions,Processes, and Democratic Prospects ... provides just such an account.'Jennifer Y. Peng, International Law and Politics, Vol.32:205.