The language of rights and the politics of law: perspectives on China’s last legal ditch struggle

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Abstract

Since Xi Jinping has taken office in 2012, China’s political repression has only but intensified so that the regime is definitively turning away from the 1990s legal reforms and the many expectations that followed in terms of rule of law and other rights fostering. In replacing these recent developments in a larger perspective including that of a “socialist harmonious society”, which had already shaded a particular light on Chinese reforms, this article proposes to envisage contemporary Chinese legal culture in an evolutionary and theoretical framework. In doing so, it stresses the tensions between a language of rights now fully integrated by the Chinese citizens and the politics of law used, in a last legal ditch struggle, by the Chinese Communist Party as a tool for social stability in disciplining the people by all means including by the threat of its very legal creations. It then concludes in reflecting upon the legal culture emerging out of this great divide between the people and the State.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-803
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal for the Semiotics of Law
Volume29
Issue number4
Early online date6 Oct 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

Keywords

  • China
  • Language
  • Law
  • Rights
  • State

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