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The Rule of Mandates: How China Governs Over Law and Democracy
Colloquium | March 19 | 4-6 p.m. | Institute of East Asian Studies (2223 Fulton, 6th Floor)
Mayling Birney, International Development, London School of Economics
The speaker will present evidence that China uses a distinctive form of governing, what she calls a "rule of mandates" in contrast to a rule of law. Under a rule of mandates, standards for accountability are relative rather than absolute, as lower officials are effectively directed to adjust the local implementation of the center's own laws and policies in order to meet the center's highest priorities. In China, this governing system has helped promote stability and growth, yet curtailed the potential impact of rule of law and democratic reforms. The speaker demonstrates this impact by drawing on evidence from original surveys, interviews, and archival work. Yet she also explains why this governing system is likely to become more problematic for China in the future, potentially jeopardizing even the economic growth and stability it has thus far supported.
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