Constitutional Movements: An Example from China, 1894-1924
29 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2009
Date Written: October 29, 2009
From 1894 to 1949 Chinese reformers, radicals, political theorists and party leaders pushed for the creation of a constitutional order in China. To that end, they borrowed (and often modified) constitutional principles, doctrines, and even history from other countries, using those tools first to craft different models of constitutions and then to persuade others to support their goals. The result was a complex, and international, exchange, one that involved the development of ideas and the deployment of social movements. My current research explores that history with the intent of tracing out the intellectual and social exchanges that occurred while the Chinese around the world debated their constitutional order. As I unpack China's rich constitutional history, I hope to add to our general understanding of how constitutional movements arise and function. This paper is an initial sketch of the project and my methodology.
Keywords: constitutional history, constitutional borrowing, social movements, social networks, transnationalism
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