Ideological Conflict and the Rule of Law in Contemporary China+: Useful Paradoxes (Law in Context)

Ideological Conflict and the Rule of Law in Contemporary China+: Useful Paradoxes (Law in Context)

By: Samuli Seppanen (author)Paperback

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This book is an informative and thought provoking study in understanding the ideological divisions within Chinese legal academia and their relationship to arguments about the rule of law. It describes argumentative strategies used by Chinese legal scholars to legitimize and subvert China's state-sanctioned ideology and examines Chinese efforts to invent new, alternative rule of law conceptions. In addition to this descriptive project, the book advances a more general argument about the rule of law phenomenon, insisting that many arguments about the rule of law are better understood in terms of their intended and actual effects rather than as logical propositions or other good faith arguments. To illustrate this proposition, the book demonstrates that various paradoxical, contradictory and otherwise implausible arguments about the rule of law play an important role in the Chinese debates. More specifically, paradoxical statements about the rule of law can be 'useful' for an ideological project.

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About Author

Samuli Seppanen is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Law at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He holds an S.J.D. degree from Harvard Law School and an undergraduate degree from the University of Helsinki. Samuli's research focuses on legal and political thought in China and developmental aspects of international law. In addition to his academic pursuits, Samuli has worked with human rights promotion in the United Nations system in South East Asia.


1. Introduction; 1. A change of perspective; 1.2 A return to ideology; 1.3 Limitations, academic positioning and apologies; 1.4 Structure of the book; 2. Setting the stage; 2.1. Three generations of Chinese legal scholars; 2.2 Historically significant scholarship; 2.3 Conservative socialist reforms; 2.4 The mainstream state of mind; 2.5 Liberal sensibilities; 2.6 Avant-garde renewal (and nostalgia); 2.7 New orthodoxies and heterodoxies; 2.8 Conclusion: resisting and affirming the ideological positions; 3. Ideological cynicism meets theoretical skepticism; 3.1 Some realism about ideological realism; 3.2 The life and thoughts of Luo Gan; 3.3 Luo Gan's speeches through the kaleidoscope of social theory; 3.4 A theoretical smorgasbord; 3.5. Conclusion: knowing how not to know; 4. Useful paradoxes: the conservative socialist ideological position; 4.1 Introduction; 4.2 Between the romanticism of illegality and the romanticism of legality; 4.3 Useful paradoxes; 4.4 Neo-conservative re-configurations; 4.4.1 Zhu Suli's rationalist and irrationalist epistemology; 4.4.2 Native resources, international sources; 4.4.3 Effects of and responses to Zhu's scholarship; 4.5 Conclusion: paradoxes as entry-points for local knowledge; 5. Thick mainstream, thin liberalism and vice versa; 5.1 Introduction; 5.2 All things considered; 5.3 Wang Liming and mainstream strategies; 5.4 Prescriptions of paternalism and autonomy; 5.5 Li Buyun and the ever-thickening rule of law conception; 5.5.1 A bricoleur's life; 5.5.2 E pluribus unu; 5.5.3 Challenges against mainstream scholarship; 5.6 Liberalism for an authoritarian state; 5.6.1 The thin point of vie; 5.6.2 (Neo-)Proceduralis; 5.7 Conclusion: merging the narratives; 6. Avant-garde renewal and nostalgia; 6.1 Introduction; 6.2 Critical avant-garde scholarship; 6.2.1 Critique of liberal rule of law ideology; 6.2.2 Aesthetic experiences instead of managerial needs; 6.3 New Confucian hybrids; 6.3.1 Traditionalist virtues and the rule of law; 6.3.2 New Confucianism in Chinese Legal Academia; 6.4 Communitarian rule of law; 6.4.1 From Confucianism to communitarianism; 6.4.2 The communitarian rule of law principle; 6.5 The paradoxes of ideological renewal; 6.6 Jiang Shigong and the irrationalist turn in Chinese legal thought; 6.7 Conclusion: a virtue out of necessity; 7. Conclusions; 7.1 'But nothing falls'?; 7.2 Argumentative strategies; 7.3 Leaps of faith; 7.4 Ideological positions at play: explicating rural land rights debate; 7.4.1 Background: debate on rural land rights; 7.4.2 Conservative socialist position; 7.4.3 Mainstream position and the pull of liberalism; 7.4.4 The avant-garde position; 7.5 Orientalist exotica.

Product Details

  • publication date: 31/08/2016
  • ISBN13: 9781316506189
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 300
  • ID: 9781316506189
  • ISBN10: 1316506185

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