Rule of Law with Chinese Characteristics: An Empirical Cultural Perspective on China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

21 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2014 Last revised: 17 Jan 2015

See all articles by Jeffrey E. Thomas

Jeffrey E. Thomas

University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law

Date Written: October 8, 2014

Abstract

This article uses empirical data to analyse the meaning of rule of law with Chinese characteristics. It compares rule of law data on China, Hong Kong and Singapore from the World Justice Project and finds patterns of more limited protection of individual rights and fewer limits on governmental powers. It then uses Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimensions to consider whether those patterns are related to common cultural characteristics. It finds low scores on the cultural value of individualism in those three jurisdictions are correlated with lower protection for individual rights, and that high scores on Hofstede’s Power Distribution Index are inversely correlated with strong governmental powers. It concludes that rule of law with Chinese characteristics means a version of rule of law with more limited protections for individual rights and with strong governmental powers with fewer legal limitations.

Keywords: Rule of law, Chinese characteristics, China, Hong Kong, Cultural interpretation, Empirical data, Comparative, Cultural values

JEL Classification: A13, H11, K10, K19, K40

Suggested Citation

Thomas, Jeffrey E., Rule of Law with Chinese Characteristics: An Empirical Cultural Perspective on China, Hong Kong and Singapore. (October 8, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2523031 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2523031

Jeffrey E. Thomas (Contact Author)

University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law ( email )

5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499
United States

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