Debating constitutionalism in China : dreaming of a liberal turn?

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)


This essay examines the arguments in the debate by situating it in the current status of the Constitution and its future role in China’s political life. First, it looks at the state of the Chinese Constitution, its unfulfilled promises, and the obstacles to full implementation. Second, it reviews the current episode of constitutional debate and summarises the arguments both for and against implementing constitutionalism in China. It seeks to show that, despite the Party’s tolerance of the on-going intellectual debate on constitutionalism, the recent crackdown against civil society suggests that Party leaders have made a conservative move against the actual practice of constitutional government, which diminishes hopes for genuine political reform.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalChina Perspectives
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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