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The Role of Law in China’s Strained “Harmonious Society”

Events | Headline and Cultural Forums

As China gears up for its leadership transition in 2012, it is easy to marvel at the more than six decades of uninterrupted rule by the Chinese Communist Party. Yet underneath this continuity and the ubiquitous slogan of a “harmonious society” lies an increasingly restive society. On the one hand, the highest echelons of power are looking to law to shore up their legitimacy. On the other hand, they are wary about giving free rein to a legal system that could provide citizens with channels to challenge the government. This talk will draw on recent developments in China to explore the tension between China’s journey toward the rule of law and the persistence of single-party rule.

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