Anna Jane High


Law-lauding ideology and rhetoric has been increasingly evident in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. In conjunction nAth decades of rapid and prolfc legal institution-building, this has provded rich data for scholarship on the trajectory of China s legal system, and the nature of rule and order in modern Chinese society. Yet a solely law-centric approach to state regulation is not aposite to painting a complete picture o how order is maintained in the distinctly non-legal Chinese clture. Drang onfleldwork investigating non-state Chinese ophanage I argue that the surdval and proliferation of such quasi- or non-legal grassroots non-government organizations is indicative of, and premised on, both the un deldy and fragmented nature of the Chinese state, and several defining points of distinction of law as a cultural notion in the Chinese context. These include a marked preoccupation with legitimag over legalit, and paternalistic discipline and discretion over impartial adjudication. An increased appreciation for China ' local legal culture has far-reaching implications for the ways in which both legal academics and practitioners engage with the Chinese legal system, which is best approached nAthout constraining preconceptions about how law is used and regarded in local contexts.

Custom Citation

Anna Jane High, 'Grassroots NGO Regulation and China's Local Legal Culture' (2013) 9(2) Socio-Legal Review 1

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