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  • Author or Editor: Larry Catá Backer x

Larry Catá Backer

Global law can be understood as the systematization of anarchy, as the management of a loosely intertwined universe of autonomous governance frameworks operating dynamically across borders and grounded in functional differentiation among governance communities. More conventionally, global law can be defined as the law of non-state governance systems. Global law posits a stable universe of objects of regulation around which governance systems multiply, the inverse of the traditional approach to law grounded on the presumption of a dynamic population bound to static and stable systems. The essay considers the structure of global law in this context, understood as an amalgamation of four fundamental characteristics that together define a new order in form that is, in some respects, the antithesis of the orderliness and unity of the law-state system it will displace (though not erase). These four fundamental characteristics—fracture, fluidity, permeability, and polycentricity—comprise the fundamental structure of global law. These also serve as the structural foundations of its constitutional element, its substantive element, and its process element. The essay considers each in turn in the construction of global law.

Commentary on the New Charity Undertakings Law

Socialist Modernization through Collective Organizations

Larry Catá Backer


China’s new Charity Law represents the culmination of over a decade of planning for the appropriate development of the productive forces of the charity sector in aid of socialist modernization. Together with the related Foreign ngo Management Law, it represents an important advance in the organization of the civil society sector within emerging structures of Socialist Rule of Law principles. While both Charity and Foreign ngo Management Laws could profitably be considered as parts of a whole, each merits discussion for its own unique contribution to national development. Moreover, while analysis tends to focus on legal conformity of the Charity Law to the state constitution, little work has been done to analyze the relationship of the Charity Law to the political constitution of China. This essay seeks to fill that gap by considering the role of the Charity Law through the lens of the Constitution of the Communist Party of China. More specifically, the essay examines the extent to which the provisions of the Charity Law, and its underlying policies, contribute to the implementation and realization of the Chinese Communist Party (ccp) Basic Line and in the context of the overall political policy of “socialist modernization which has served as the core of the political line of the ccp since the last decades of the 20th century. The essay is organized as follows: Section ii considers the specific provisions of the Charity Law, with some reference to changes between the first draft and the final version of the Charity Law. Section iii then considers some of the more theoretical considerations that suggest a framework for understanding the great contribution of the Charity Law as well as the challenges that remain for the development of the productive forces of the civil society sector at this historical stage of China’s development.