The Law, the State and Economic Reform

  • Donald C. Clarke
Part of the Studies on the Chinese Economy book series (STCE)


A study of the role of law in economic reform in China is hampered by the difficulty of knowing what exactly we are talking about. The legal system, if we can call it that, is not the direct institutional descendant of a European system, and we cannot assume in advance the equivalency of various terms. To translate fa as ‘law’ and fazhi as ‘legal system’ can only be the beginning of understanding, not the end. Indeed, the meaning of fazhi in China itself is not yet complete. Its linguistic limits are still fluid and ill-defined. What it comes to mean will depend on what people want it to mean, and that in turn will depend in large part on the political consequences of defining certain institutions and practices as inside or outside the territory of law.


Economic Reform State Council Chinese Communist Party Legal Institution Private Party 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Gordon White 1991

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  • Donald C. Clarke

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