Disorientation for the New Era: Intraparty Regulations and China’s Changing Party-state Relations

Forthcoming in Rogier J. E. H. Creemers and Sue Trevaskes (eds.), Law and the Party in Xi Jinping’s China: Ideology and Organization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

The Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2020-09

24 Pages Posted: 15 May 2020

See all articles by Samuli Seppänen

Samuli Seppänen

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: April 20, 2020

Abstract

This essay engages with a curious political and cultural moment in Xi Jinping’s China. On the one hand, CCP leaders appear to be intent on limiting law-based governance and expanding the scope of holistic, self-consciously ‘political’ discipline supervision methods; on the other hand, CCP leaders seek to provide a legal framework for the Party’s discipline inspection methods and regulate Party members’ uses of power more closely through a system of intraparty regulations. These two aims appear to be motivated by conflicting approaches to rule-based governance. Party leaders seem to be dissatisfied with formal legal processes in their project to control corruption, and yet they are building rule-based processes within the Party in order to control corruption. This essay argues that such conflicts emerge from the institutional and ideological background of China’s one-party system. They are a consequence of an attempt to exercise illiberal political leadership through a ‘modern’, supposedly rationalist, bureaucracy. Moreover, this essay identifies a more general confusion about the relationship between rules and ‘the political’, which is apparent not only in the writings of CCP ideologues but also in the scholarship of their foreign observers.

Keywords: China, CCP, illiberalism

Suggested Citation

Seppänen, Samuli, Disorientation for the New Era: Intraparty Regulations and China’s Changing Party-state Relations (April 20, 2020). Forthcoming in Rogier J. E. H. Creemers and Sue Trevaskes (eds.), Law and the Party in Xi Jinping’s China: Ideology and Organization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2020-09, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3581415

Samuli Seppänen (Contact Author)

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Law ( email )

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Shatin, New Territories
Kowloon, Sha Tin
Hong Kong

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