China Modernizes: Threat to the West or Model for the Rest?

China Modernizes: Threat to the West or Model for the Rest?

China Modernizes: Threat to the West or Model for the Rest?

China Modernizes: Threat to the West or Model for the Rest?

Excerpt

This book builds on and complements my previous work on legal reforms in China and law and development in Asia. In China's Long March toward Rule of Law, I examined competing conceptions of rule of law, several of them at odds with the liberal democratic version of rule of law found in Euro-America. I provided a detailed analysis of China's legal reforms, adopting an institutional approach to assess the progress China had made in improving its legal system and the obstacles to further progress. Despite the occasional comparison to the institutions or laws of other legal systems, the focus was squarely on China.

While working on that book, I became interested in the extent to which the nonliberal variants of rule of law could also be found in other countries, particularly other Asian countries. I also became increasingly interested in the extent to which China was confronting similar issues as other developing countries, and whether anything could be learned from their experiences. This led to an ongoing collaborative effort with some of the leading scholars on Asian legal systems to produce a series of volumes examining the role of law in Asia countries, the first two volumes being Asian Discourses of Rule of Law and Human Rights in Asia. An overview of the series and its goals and methodology is available at http://papers.ssrn.com/ sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=445820.

These projects in turn highlighted several issues that became central to this work, including the importance of wealth to virtually all indicators of human rights and well-being, including rule of law and good governance; the wide variation within Asia; and, despite the variation in Asia as a whole, the notable success of several East Asian states that followed a largely similar developmental path.

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