China's Long March toward Rule of Law

By Randall Peerenboom | Go to book overview
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China has enjoyed considerable economic growth in recent years in spite of an immature, albeit rapidly developing, legal system; a system whose nature, evolution, and path of development have been little explored and poorly understood by scholars. Drawing on his legal and business experience in China as well as his academic background in the field, Randall Peerenboom provides a detailed analysis of China's legal reforms, adopting an institutional approach that considers the possibilities for, and obstacles to, reform resulting from the current state of development of Chinese institutions. Questioning the applicability of Western theoretical conceptions of rule of law, Peerenboom develops a new theoretical framework. He argues that China is in transition from rule by law to a version of rule of law, though most likely not a liberal democratic version as found in certain economically advanced countries in the West. Maintaining that law plays a key role in China's economic growth and is likely to play an even greater role in the future, Peerenboom assesses reform proposals and makes his own recommendations.

In addition to students and scholars of Chinese law, political science, sociology, and economics, this book will interest business professionals, policy advisors, and governmental and nongovernmental agencies, as well as comparative legal scholars and philosophers.

RANDALL PEERENBOOM is a member of the faculty of UCLA School of Law, where he teaches courses on Chinese law and international human rights. His publications include Lawyers in China: Obstacles to Independence and the Defense of Rights (1993) and Law and Morality in Ancient China: the Silk Manuscripts of Huang-Lao (1993).

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