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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Tying the Autocrat's Hands: The Rise of the Rule of Law in China

ISBN13: 9781107417748
Published: June 2016
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: £18.99

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Under what conditions would authoritarian rulers be interested in the rule of law? What type of rule of law exists in authoritarian regimes? How do authoritarian rulers promote the rule of law without threatening their grip on power?

Tying the Autocrat's Hands answers these questions by examining legal reforms in China. Yuhua Wang develops a demand-side theory arguing that authoritarian rulers will respect the rule of law when they need the cooperation of organized interest groups that control valuable and mobile assets but are not politically connected.

He also defines the rule of law that exists in authoritarian regimes as a partial form of the rule of law, in which judicial fairness is respected in the commercial realm but not in the political realm. Tying the Autocrat's Hands demonstrates that the rule of law is better enforced in regions with a large number of foreign investors but less so in regions heavily invested in by Chinese investors.

Legal History, Other Jurisdictions , China
1. Introduction
2. A demand-side theory of authoritarian rule of law
3. Authoritarian judiciary: how the party-state limits the rule of law
4. State-business relations in China
5. Who bribes?
6. When do authoritarian rulers build less-corrupt courts?
7. When do authoritarian rulers invest in courts?
8. Conclusion.