Multiple Modernities: An Alternative to Western Economists’ Recommendations for China’s Private Law

Peking University Law Journal (Zhong Wai Fa Xue) 2013, 2

20 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2013

See all articles by Gunther Teubner

Gunther Teubner

Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität

Qi Chunyi

Zhongnan University of Economics and Law

Date Written: March 5, 2013

Abstract

The article criticizes the recent World Bank report, “China 2030” which formulates a new development strategy for China to rebalance the role of government and market, private sector and society. The report deals explicitly with the role that private law should play as means of economic modernization. The main thesis of this article is that the World Bank report develops a rather one-sided vision of the future of China’s private law based on the prejudice that there is one and only one way to the modernization of Chinese society. In contrast, a sociological view suggests that China’s law should develop in a way that is called “multiple modernities”. There are two dimensions in which this multiplicity of paths to modernity is realized. One is functional: while the World Bank recommends a unifunctional economic modernization, systems theory would follow a multifunctional approach. The other dimension is historical and cultural: While the World Bank perceives a universal transcultural path to modernity, sociological thinking would take into account the varieties of regional cultures in their specific paths to modernity and would stress that specific Chinese characteristics have a strong influence in this process. The article elaborates the thesis on the following issues which are controversially discussed in China’s private law (1) the multidimensional role of private law, (2) the horizontal effect of human rights, (3) the role of the political party.

JEL Classification: K00, K10, O00

Suggested Citation

Teubner, Gunther and Chunyi, Qi, Multiple Modernities: An Alternative to Western Economists’ Recommendations for China’s Private Law (March 5, 2013). Peking University Law Journal (Zhong Wai Fa Xue) 2013, 2. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2228574

Gunther Teubner (Contact Author)

Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität ( email )

Grüneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, D-60323
Germany
0049 69 71034781 (Phone)
0049 69 798-34405 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.jura.uni-frankfurt.de/ifawz1/teubner/

Qi Chunyi

Zhongnan University of Economics and Law ( email )

182# Nanhu Avenue, East Lake High-tech Developme
Wuhan, Hubei 430073
China

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