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4 China L. & Soc'y Rev. 1 (2019)

handle is hein.journals/clscy4 and id is 1 raw text is: 

   JCHINA LAW AND SOCIETY REVIEW 4 (2019) 1-40                     CHINA LAW
   •~ t                                                           SOCIETY REVIEW
BRILL                                                             brill.com/clsr

Governing the Constitutional Vacuum -

Federalism, Rule of Law, and Politburo Politics

in China

        Ling Li*
        University of Vienna
        liing6234@gmaiL corn

        Wenzhang Zhou**
        Zhejiang University


By focusing on the underlit corners of authoritarian governance in China, this article
challenges the thesis that constitutions matter to authoritarian regimes because they
provide solutions for problems of governance. We argue to the contrary: the constitu-
tion appeals to the Chinese Communist Party (the Party or the ccP) because it does
not provide solutions to fundamental issues of governance. Instead, such issues are
kept out of the constitution so that they can be addressed by the Party through other
regulatory mechanisms outside of the constitutional realm. In support of our thesis,
we provide a unique review of the most up-to-date authoritative research on three key
constitutional issues: central-local relations, party-state relations and power relations
in the Politburo. These three issues correspond to three distinctive fields in China stud-
ies that were treated only in isolation but here we consider them together under the
single framework of authoritarian constitutional governance.


authoritarian constitutionalism - Chinese Communist Party (cCp) - rule of law -
federalism - Communist Party of China (cpc) - party-state - single party state -
authoritarian governance - authoritarian resilience -XiJinping

* Corresponding author. Ling Li teaches Chinese politics and law at the Department of East
   Asian Studies/Sinology, University of Vienna.
** Wenzhang Zhou is currently a PhD candidate at Guanghua Law School, Zhejiang University.

9 KONINKLIJKE BRILL NV, LEIDEN, 2019 1 DOI:10.1163/25427466-00401001

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