35 N.Y.U. J. Int'l L. & Pol. 1 (2002-2003)
Of Parliaments, Pragmatism, and the Dynamics of Constitutional Development: The Curious Case of China

handle is hein.journals/nyuilp35 and id is 11 raw text is: OF PARLIAMENTS, PRAGMATISM, AND THE
DYNAMICS OF CONSTITUTIONAL
DEVELOPMENT: THE CURIOUS CASE
OF CHINA
MICHAEL. Wii.LiAM DOWDI.E*
I. INTRODUCTION: THE RIDDI.E OF CHINA'S
CONSTITUTIONAl. DEVELOPMENT
This is an inquiry into two heretofore distinct areas of le-
gal scholarship: Chinese legal studies' and comparative consti-
tutional law. It stems from an observation that existing theo-
ries of constitutionalism and constitutional development are ill
equipped to explore for elements of constitutional potential in
regimes that lack significant praxis of electoral democracy
and/or judicial review-what we will call authoritarian re-
gimes.2 Recent history demonstrates that, despite their infir-
mities, authoritarian regimes can evolve into more constitu-
* Fellow, Law Program and Regulatory Institutions Network, Research
School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. The research and
writing of this Article was carried out while the author was Senior Research
Fellow at the Columbia University Center for Chinese Legal Studies and Vis-
iting Associate Professor of Law at the City University of Hong Kong. The
author is most grateful for the germinal assistance of Mark Barenberg,
Michael C. Dorf, Merle Goldman, and Randall Peerenboom, all of whom
provided constant and essential comment over the course of the develop-
ment of this Article. Valuable comments were also received from William
Alford, Daniel Bell, Randle Edwards, John Elster, Stephan Holmes, Frank
Hong, Kanishka Jayasuriya, Neysun A. Mahboubi, Andrew Nathan, Kevin
O'Brien, Charles Sabel, and Frank Upham. Also deserving mention is Kent
Greenawalt, who graciously allowed me to use his office and computer dur-
ing the four months my computer was in the shop. The generous support of
R. Randle Edwards and the Center for Chinese Legal Studies at Columbia
University is also most gratefully acknowledged.
1. In this Article, China and Chinese refer to mainland China and
mainland Chinese, unless otherwise specified. There has been, in fact, sig-
nificant recent comparative exploration of Hong Kong and-to a lesser ex-
tent-Taiwanese constitutional development.
2. See DAVID SCIULLI, THEORY OF SOCIETAL CONSTITUTIONALISM: FOUNDA-
TIONS OF A NON-MARXIST CRITICAL THEORY 1-10 (1992); see, e.g., MARK
TUSHNET & VICKI JACKSON, COMPARATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (1999) (in-
cluding no significant investigation of authoritarian constitutional struc-
tnres).
Imaged with the Permission of N.Y.U. Journal of International Law and Politics

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