The Chinese Model of Law, China’s Agenda in International Law, and Implications for Democracy in Asia and Beyond

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Book Chapter

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China’s model for domestic law and China’s agenda in shaping international law are at odds with democratic norms and pose challenges to the rule of law’s contribution to democracy in other states in Asia. China’s paradigm for law’s place in domestic governance and its positions on key international legal norms depart from more liberal-democratic alternatives that have been ascendant in much of the region in the post–Cold War period (and in some places, the post–Second World War era). Potential for propagating China’s model of law’s limited and distinctive roles in authoritarian governance has been growing with China’s success in achieving economic growth with political stability, and as China under Xi has become more inclined to promote emulation of China’s experience, and more assertive in engaging international legal rules and institutions across a range of issue areas. That engagement sometimes has meant pursuing agendas that undermine existing, relatively pro-democratic norms, and sometimes—and increasingly—has meant supporting more anti-democratic norms.

Publication Title

Democratization, National Identity, and Foreign Policy in Asia

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