Governing the “Constitutional Vacuum” – Federalism, Rule of Law, and Politburo Politics in China

  title={Governing the “Constitutional Vacuum” – Federalism, Rule of Law, and Politburo Politics in China},
  author={Ling Li and Wenzhang Zhou},
By focusing on the underlit corners of authoritarian governance in China, this article challenges the thesis that constitutions matter to authoritarian regimes because they provide solutions for problems of governance. We argue to the contrary: the constitution appeals to the Chinese Communist Party (the Party or the ccp) because it does not provide solutions to fundamental issues of governance. Instead, such issues are kept out of the constitution so that they can be addressed by the Party… 
Of Constitutions, Campaigns and Commissions: A Century of Democratic Centralism under the CCP
Abstract Democratic centralism, a hallmark of Leninist party organizations, has played a formative role in the history of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Yet despite being hailed as an
What Limits the Benefits of Land-Lost Farmers in Chinese Courts? An Investigation of Chinese Land Acquisition and Resettlement Cases in the Yangtze River Delta
Due to China’s rapid urbanization, the growing presence of land-lost farmers in land acquisition and resettlement (LAR) cases has led to major practical and academic concerns. However, few studies


Written and Unwritten Constitutions: A New Approach to the Study of Constitutional Government in China
Criticizing the formalism in China’s constitutional studies over the past 30 years and following an empirical-historical perspective to deal with the dilemma of representation and practice, the
“Rule of Law” in a Party-State: A Conceptual Interpretive Framework of the Constitutional Reality of China
  • Ling Li
  • Political Science
    Asian Journal of Law and Society
  • 2015
Abstract This article identifies and conceptualizes the structural features of the Party-state and proposes a “dual normative system” as a framework to interpret the constitutional reality of China.
Law According to the Chinese Communist Party: Constitutionalism and Socialist Rule of Law
This article argues that the Chinese Communist Party has adopted a unique understanding of law. Unlike the liberal view and the unwritten constitution view, which generally consider law as positive
Ordering Power under the Party: A Relational Approach to Law and Politics in China
Abstract Existing scholarship of China’s legal institutions has primarily focused on individual institutions, such as the court, the police, or the legal profession. This article proposes a
Chinese-Style Constitutionalism
Currently, besides traditional national constitutionalism, there are three general approaches to constitutionalism in the world: transnational constitutionalism, theocratic constitutionalism, and
Toward a Robust Theory of the Chinese Constitutional State
The state of constitutional theory is in flux. What was once the preserve of those who organized the state became the expression of mass democracy and the popular will, one that has been increasingly
A Constitutional Court for China within the Chinese Communist Party: Scientific Development and a Reconsideration of the Institutional Role of the CCP
There are great shifts in constitutional thinking taking place today in China among elite Chinese constitutional scholars. Among this group of influential constitutional law scholars, Hu Jintao’s
Legality in Contemporary Chinese Politics
The picture of Chinese law that many Western scholars and commentators portray is an increasingly bleak one: since the mid-2000s, China has been retreating from legal reform back into unchecked
Toward a Consultative Rule of Law Regime in China
Why has China not embraced democracy? This essay provides a three-part explanation. (1) By discussing the conceptual and functional differences between democracy and rule of law, it shows a
Decentralizing Legislation in China’s Law on Legislation Amendment
We present a novel account of China’s recent move to decentralize legislation through amending the Law on Legislation (LL). Conventional wisdom pervading both Chinese political discourse and social