Weaponising the Rule of Law in China

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Trevaskes, Susan
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Sapio, F

Trevaskes, S

Biddulph, S

Nesossi, E

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2017
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Abstract

Justice and political ideology are closely connected in Xi Jinping’s People’s Republic of China (PRC). Xi’s central political platform of ‘Governing the Nation in Accord with the Law’ (yifa zhiguo 依 法 治 国), like Hu Jintao’s ‘Harmonious Society’ and Deng Xiaoping’s ‘Socialist Rule of Law’ in previous decades, is the ideological scaffolding that shapes new government and justice system policy. Political platforms act as a discursive frame, encapsulating key governance agendas that various state organs then use to articulate their individual institutional policy orientations. In turn, state organs including those belonging within the justice system help to promote these discursive frameworks through various means, most directly through ‘propaganda work’. This chapter surveys the medium and message of rule-of-law propaganda work (fazhi xuanchuan gongzuo 法治宣传工作) in the justice system in China today. I do this first by looking back at rule-of-law propaganda in the Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin eras and then examining propaganda in the Xi period in relation to yifa zhiguo. The key propaganda message of Xi Jinping’s yifa zhiguo is the idea that rule of law and party- rule-through-law are essentially one and the same concept. This is based on the claim that rule-of party-through-law is the best way to protect the interests of the people. It is the task of rule-of-law propaganda to sell this claim.

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Justice: The China Experience

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Other law and legal studies not elsewhere classified

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