The People’s Regulation: Citizens and Implementation of Law in China
Benjamin van Rooij
University of California, Irvine School of Law; Leiden University - Leiden Law School
August 29, 2011
Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2011-22
General Subserie Research Paper No. 2011-03
This paper discusses how China has made a move towards society-based regulation, enabling citizens to aid in the implementation of regulatory law. It discusses the necessity of this development in the light of the government’s problems in enforcing its laws. The paper contends that citizens have had some success in improving regulatory effects to mitigate risk. However, it also finds that citizen-based regulation reforms have been halfhearted, as existing and recently introduced authoritarian restrictions obstruct citizens and civic organizations to become successful co-regulators. The paper concludes that at its worst China has developed a form of regulation by escalation, where ironically the exact incentive structures for Chinese regulatory and judicial officials to prevent unrest, also provide an incentive for citizens to create instability as a successful strategy to get regulatory law implemented. And thus, China’s halfhearted approach to regulatory governance with its focus on stability may be destabilizing.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 62
Keywords: China, comparative law, law enforcement, regulation, environmental law, labor law
JEL Classification: K23, K42
Date posted: August 31, 2011 ; Last revised: September 4, 2011
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