Lecture: "Rule of Law and Authoritarianism with Chinese Characteristics"

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The phrase “rule of law with Chinese characteristics” has been a slogan for many years in China, an adaptation from the phrase “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” a slogan used to justify market reforms inconsistent with mainline Marxist-Leninist principles. In both cases, the phrases suggest a departure from the traditional ideology and institutions to render them more “Chinese.” But while ”socialism with Chinese characteristics” indicates a shift to the right—towards capitalism—by introducing elements of free enterprises such as individual property ownership, the notion of “rule of law with Chinese characteristics” is less clear, but probably means a move to the left, away from mainstream rule of law ideology.

Professor Jeffrey Thomas, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, will share his research on this topic and discuss its relevance for 21st-century Chinese authoritarianism.

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