By Stéphanie Balme, Michael W. Dowdle (eds.)
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Additional info for Building Constitutionalism in China
But what are we to make of the party’s “inf luence” over the Chinese courts? The fact that this inf luence differs, either quantitatively or qualitatively, from that affecting Western judiciaries is not itself a meaningful basis for critique. In order to develop useful understanding of the problems of basic-level courts “Judicial Politics” as State-Building 31 in China, and of their prospects for reform, we have to examine in detail not only the existence, degree, and process of CCP inf luences on judicial behavior, but also their actual social effects.
Although intimately associated with imperial governance, the notion of fatong expressed a juridico-political orthodoxy that continued to inf luence the spirit and the rhetoric of China’s political world well into the Republican era. As we shall see in the rest of the this Chapter, China’s emerging understanding of the idea of constitutionalism during the first half of the twentieth century seems very much informed by this indigenous concept of fatong. II. An Aborted Attempt at Constitutional Monarchy (1908–1912) The traditional Chinese state was represented by the person of the emperor, assisted by his administration.
And along these lines, the CCP has responded. It has promoted greater democracy within the party. It has adjusted its policies, relying increasingly on laws and conventional institutions of governance, such as the National People’s Congress and the Supreme People’s Court, rather than on revolutionary fervor. It has aggressively recruited qualified civil servants and set up bureaucracies. And finally, it has set about transforming the judiciary and improving its function. But the historical task of China’s revolutionary social and political modernization cannot be accomplished all at once.
Building Constitutionalism in China by Stéphanie Balme, Michael W. Dowdle (eds.)