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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Epistrophy: Chinese Constitutionalism and the 1950s

  • Author(s): Tiffert, Glenn
  • Editor(s): Balme, Stephanie
  • Dowdle, Michael
  • et al.

Current debates in Chinese constitutionalism centering on issues such as judicial independence, the justiciability of constitutional rights, and the relationships between Party and state, political pluralism and dictatorship, and liberal conceptions of the rule of law versus more traditional Chinese articulations of the asymmetric ethical relationship between ruler and ruled are neither novel nor unfamiliar in the PRC.This paper explores the drafting of the 1954 PRC Constitution, upon which China's current 1982 Constitution was based, with the aim of restoring historical context to contemporary issues in Chinese constitutional law and connecting them to longitudinal trends and problematics in Chinese social and political development.It draws on archival and period sources seldom accessed outside of China, and recent Chinese literature on the subject.

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