The course aims to provide an overview of the current methods of governance in the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) with an emphasis on Chinese law and legal institutions. China’s modern legal system cannot be understood in isolation from its political, economic, and social structures. Much of the course will, therefore, focus on the interaction between the legal system and the parallel, often more powerful, mechanisms of political governance.
The Chinese world has a rich legal and governance tradition, expanding over more than 2000 years before the complex encounter with the modernizing “West” (and Meiji Japan) in the 19th century. That long tradition continues to shape the PRC’s struggle with “Legal Construction” which started in the late 1970s and continues until contemporary days. Our discussions will be focused on contemporary days, with some observations on the historical path when relevant.