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Kam Wing Chan

This paper presents a retrospective analysis of China’s hukou (household registration) system on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of its promulgation, reviewing the history of that system from a broad socio-political perspective and highlighting the continuity and change. The paper focuses also on identifying many of its important ramifications for modern Chinese society, as well as on the impact of the hukou on the country’s industrialization, urbanization, and social and spatial stratification. The paper argues that despite all the reforms in the last four decades, the hukou system remains a major obstacle to China’s quest to become a modern, first-world nation and global leader. More forceful measures to change and gradually abolish the system are urgently needed.

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Yu Su

China, as an emerging market economy, has developed rapidly over the past few decades and water plays a crucial role in facilitating and sustaining such development. Its use of water resources, which are increasingly drawn from its transboundary waters, faces severe challenges and criticism by its riparian neighbours. Amid such challenges, China’s approach to international water law remains a highly contested issue. This chapter examines China’s understanding of international water law by looking at its comments during the drafting and adoption process of the UN Watercourses Convention, and surveys China’s treaty practice through an analysis of its treaties, joint statements and other normative documents, whether water or non-water-specific. In spite of significant criticism, a closer look at China’s understanding and treaty practice reveals a more nuanced approach to international water law and the broader issues of transboundary waters.

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Pu Hao

Since the commercialization of housing in urban China, a dynamic housing market has replaced the pre-reform communist housing provision. With urban districts and suburbs springing up with new apartments, urban dwellers have seen consistent improvements in housing conditions despite a dramatic increase in the urban population. Property development has become the main impetus for China’s economic boom; and the housing market, which stores more than 70 per cent of household wealth, is likewise a major speculative tool that redistributes capital and redirects unearned income. This chapter examines the development and transformation of the three distinct sections of municipal housing – work-unit housing provided under the pre-reform system, remnants of peri-urban villages engulfed by expanding cities, and prevailing commercial properties that have emerged to redefine urban living. The three types of housing create a spatial and historical collage of urban residential and social space. While initially serving distinct social groups, the diverse housing market shapes and consolidates the stratification of the urban population who may or may not benefit from housing wealth appreciation.

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Climate Change and Catastrophe Management in a Changing China

Government, Insurance and Alternatives

Qihao He

China is the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world and also suffers from devastating climate catastrophes. Increasingly, policymakers in China have come to realize that government alone cannot adequately prevent or defray climate-related disaster risks. This book contends that a better way to manage catastrophe risk in China is through private insurance rather than directly through the Chinese government. In addition, private insurance could function as a substitute for, or complement to, government regulation of catastrophe risks by causing policyholders to take greater precautions to reduce climate change risks.
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Qihao He

Global climate change has caused many weather-related catastrophes in the world, and the losses have been increasing dramatically during past years. Various legal and business mechanisms and tools can be used to manage catastrophe risks and cover catastrophe losses, such as insurance, government subsidies, and risk securitization. In theory, private insurance can be an efficient financial instrument to cover disasters. In practice, private insurance plays an important role in developed countries such as the United States. Chapter 2 further addresses the question: taking into account China’s transition economy and specific socialism system, the role of private insurance to cover disasters and how it distributes catastrophe risks sustainably. Furthermore, it is proposed that mandatory multi-year insurance may be a possible solution.

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Qihao He

Due to climate change and an increasing concentration of the world’s population in vulnerable areas, how to manage catastrophe risk efficiently and cover disaster losses fairly is still a universal dilemma. China’s mechanism for managing catastrophic disaster risk is in many ways unique. It emphasizes government responsibilities and works well in many respects, especially in disaster emergency relief. Nonetheless, China’s mechanism, which has the vestige of a centrally planned economy, needs reform. Chapter 1 proposes a catastrophe insurance market-enhancing framework that marries the merits of both the market and government to manage catastrophe risks. There are three pillars of the framework: (i) sustaining a strong and capable government; (ii) government enhancement of the market, neither supplanting nor retarding it; and (iii) legalizing the relationship between government and market to prevent government from undermining well-functioning market operations. A catastrophe insurance market-enhancing framework may provide insights for developing catastrophe insurance in China and other transitional nations. This chapter makes two contributions. First, it analyses China’s mechanism for managing catastrophic disaster risks, and China’s approach, which emphasizes government responsibilities, will shed light on solving how to manage catastrophe risk efficiently and cover disaster losses fairly. Second, it starts a broader discussion about government stimulation of developing catastrophe insurance and this framework can stimulate attention to solve the universal dilemma.

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Michelle Scobie

This chapter outlines the complex global and regional climate governance architectures, agents, structures and relationships; the particular regional positions of Caribbean SIDS on climate change and the normative debates around SIDS and climate change. Governing climate change in the Anthropocene is an important part of the Caribbean region’s foreign and domestic policy. Climate change increases environmental insecurity and is an existential threat for Caribbean SIDS. The global climate change regime engages actors from global to local scales: development partners, regional organizations and national government departments and non-state social and community development and environmental actors. These small Caribbean territories are challenged to be part of complex international and regional architectures; to harmonize national development policy with regional and international mandates and to apply global climate governance norms and values. Climate change raises issues of climate justice as SIDS must find ways to address the domestic consequences of an international problem that they played no part in creating.

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Matt Nichol

Chapter 9 will explore the principle that labour is not a commodity that was set out in Chapter 3 in the context of the issues related to MLB and NPB. It will explain the extent of the commodification in these leagues.

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Warren Swain

The relationship between French law, as contained in the Code civil, and English law, as it had developed through the common law, was rather less antagonistic than one might expect. The law of contract in both France and England underwent significant change during the 19th century. Neither nation’s contract law was entirely re-written. The process was, in part at least, as much an end point as it was a new beginning. Jurists had long seen value in ordering and rationalising the law around principles. The fashion for intellectual order would contribute towards the creation of a code in France. In England it was no less significant even if the outcomes were different. As far as the substantive law was concerned there are even instances in which French contract law influenced developments in England. Plenty of differences still remained of course. It is, however, probably not going too far to say, that French and English contract law in the 19th century was closer in some key respects than at any time before or since.