Symposium: 'Building Up' China's Constitution: Culture, Marxism, and the WTO Rules

40 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2009

See all articles by M. Ulric Killion

M. Ulric Killion

Shanghai International Studies University

Date Written: January 11, 2009


The value-laden liberal ideals of constitutionalism, democracy, and liberty espoused by Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke and Jean-Jacque Rousseau, "that government was held in trust instead of by ordained right and that the monarch was a mere agent of society with no will, no power but that of law," are conceptions that seem alien to the traditional Chinese social structure of hierarchical relationships and patriarchal values, as well as its vestiture of authority not in the people, but rather in the state... While what earlier evolved in antiquity constituted new legal institutions, especially the written laws, the new legal institutions problematically focused on safeguarding the powers of government rather than individual rights and privileges, because the observance of written laws was imperative and the sought after deterrent effect necessitates laws that were severe... There are other flaws with modern China's state of legality, such as the problems attributable to issues of the constitution-in-action and constitution-in-text, and extra-constitutionalism in practice... In terms of the institutional analysis of a Marxist framework or Marxist political economy, critical components of Marxist analysis or economic determinism are the economic base of society and the superstructure, with the latter comprising the social, political, legal, and religious institutions, including other philosophical forms... The most obvious consequence of attempting to finalize the localization of Marxism to the realities of traditional culture and society is the denial of both prescriptive meanings or norms of culture and society, as well as the WTO rules and standards for sound legal systems as causal influences on legal reforms and constitutionalism, or "building up the constitution."

Keywords: China, Constitutionalism, Judicial review, Culture, Marxism, WTO rules

JEL Classification: F00, F02

Suggested Citation

Killion, M. Ulric, Symposium: 'Building Up' China's Constitution: Culture, Marxism, and the WTO Rules (January 11, 2009). Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, Vol. 41, No. 2, pp. 563-602, Winter 2008, Available at SSRN:

M. Ulric Killion (Contact Author)

Shanghai International Studies University ( email )

620 Gubei Road

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