China, Democracy, and Law

A Historical and Contemporary Approach


Translator: Naomi Norberg
This landmark volume deals with such essential questions as: What points of departure, or resources, can be identified in Chinese history and culture for what we call 'democracy'? What are, and have been, their potential for development in a modern China confronted with powerful Western influences? Are there any connections between imperial China’s strong legal tradition and the PRC’s current endeavour to restore the rule of law, in a context of legal globalization in which China itself is an important participant? How serious, or superficial, should the political opening which started in the 1980s be regarded, and the discourse on human rights currently heard in official circles? And finally, how relevant is Taiwan’s experiment with democratic institutions?
In this rich and inspiring volume, foremost French scholars carefully clarify the process of political and legal change, convincingly showing that these questions cannot be answered without a proper understanding of centuries of Chinese juridical, philosophical, religious and political thought.
Ouvrage publié avec le soutien du Centre national du livre/ Published with financial support by the Centre national du livre.

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Mireille Delmas-Marty, has held the Chair of “Comparative legal studies and Internationalisation of Law” at the Collège de France since 2002. She has published extensively on Criminal Law, Human Rights Law, Comparative Law, Global Law and Theory of Law.
Pierre-Étienne Will, has held the chair of History of Modern China at the Collège de France since 1992. He has published extensively on the social, political and economic history of late imperial and early Republican China.
Preface, by Philip A. Kuhn
Introduction: History Has no End (Pierre-Étienne Will)
List of Contributors

Part One: Tradition and Rebuilding
Chapter 1: Despotism, “Democratic China” and Nineteenth-Century European Authors (Pierre-Étienne Will)
Chapter 2: Seeds of Democracy in the Confucian Tradition? (Anne Cheng)

Part Two: Imperial Institutions
Chapter 3: Checking Abuses of Power under the Ming Dynasty (Pierre-Étienne Will)
Chapter 4: The Principle of Legality and Legal Rules in the Chinese Legal Tradition (Jérôme Bourgon)

Part Three: Transitions (1): the Late Empire and the Republic
Chapter 5: The Emergence of a Community of Jurists in the Late Imperial and Early Republican Periods (1740-1930) (Jérôme Bourgon)
Chapter 6: The Appropriation of the Concept of “Liberty” at the End of the Qing Dynasty: Beginning with the Interpretation of Kant by Liang Qichao (Joël Thoraval)
Chapter 7: The First Democratic Experiment in China (1908-1914): Chinese Tradition and Local Elite Practices (Xiaohong Xiao-Planes)
Chapter 8: Constitutions and Constitutionalism: Trying to Build a New Political Order (1908-1949) (Xiaohong Xiao-Planes)
Chapter 9: The Chinese Contribution to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Pierre-Étienne Will)

Part Four: Twentieth-Century Uses of the Democratic Idea
Chapter 10: Antitradition and Democracy in Early Twentieth-Century China: Modern Culture and the Crisis of the Nation-State (Yves Chevrier)
Chapter 11: Elusive Democracy (1915-1937) (Yves Chevrier)
Chapter 12: Servant, Bogeyman or Goddess: Democracy in the Discourses of Power and Dissidence in China (Michel Bonnin)

Part Five: Transitions (2): the Late 20th and Early 21st Centuries
Chapter 13: Instituting the Rule of Law in China in the Context of Globalization (Mireille Delmas-Marty)
Chapter 14: Law and Society in Contemporary China (Stéphanie Balme)
Chapter 15: China’s Accession to the WTO and Legal Reform: Towards the Rule of Law via Internationalization Without Democracy? (Leïla Choukroune)
Chapter 16: The Renaissance of the Legal Profession in China (Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Li Qinglan, Sun Ping, Yves Dolais)
Chapter 17: Democracy Under One-Party Rule? On Village and Canton Elections in China (Gunter Schubert)
Chapter 18: The Democratic Experience and Election Culture on Taiwan (Fiorella Allio)
Conclusion: The Chinese Laboratory (Mireille Delmas-Marty)