(Non)legality as Governmentality in China
15 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2020 Last revised: 28 Jul 2020
Date Written: May 28, 2020
This essay proposes “governmentality” as an alternative to the paradigms of legality and stability maintenance to explain China’s legal developments since the founding of the People’s Republic. It argues that non-legalities, such as shuanggui, the rule of mandates, and the political-legal system, are the strategies, tactics, or programs by which the ruling Communist Party reins in the country and controls society. These strategies and tactics in China originated from its political structure, the Chinese revolution, and the experiences of the CCP. Their deployment is contingent on the CCP’s priorities in a given political and social context. This essay concludes with implications such a paradigm change would have on future research.
Keywords: China, Law, governmentality
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