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The Social Foundations of China's Living Constitution


Randall Peerenboom


La Trobe University - Faculty of Law and Management; Oxford University - Centre for Socio-Legal Studies

January 26, 2010


Abstract:     
The article examines the social foundations of constitutionalism in China, focusing on constitutions as a historical response to particular events. The goal is to move beyond an analysis of the constitution as a formal text to shed light on the de facto constitutional order in China, on China’s living constitution and its social, historical, cultural, economic, political and legal foundations. Part I begins with a brief historical overview of China’s constitutions. Parts II discusses the current constitution, passed in 1982, and its four subsequent amendments. Part III explores the main functions of the constitution in China today and how the constitutional order actually operates. Part IV discusses China’s living constitution. Part V concludes with some thoughts about the future of constitutionalism in China, and the possibility of a party-state alternative to liberal democratic constitutionalism.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 41

Keywords: constituitonalism, living constitution, comparative law, law and development, public law, China

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Date posted: January 27, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Peerenboom, Randall, The Social Foundations of China's Living Constitution (January 26, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1542463 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1542463

Contact Information

Randall Peerenboom (Contact Author)
La Trobe University - Faculty of Law and Management ( email )
Victoria 3552, 3086
Australia
Oxford University - Centre for Socio-Legal Studies
St. Cross Building
St. Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UJ
United Kingdom
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