Handbook on the Rule of Law
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Handbook on the Rule of Law

Edited by Christopher May and Adam Winchester

The discussion of the norm of the rule of law has broken out of the confines of jurisprudence and is of growing interest to many non-legal researchers. A range of issues are explored in this volume that will help non-specialists with an interest in the rule of law develop a nuanced understanding of its character and political implications. It is explicitly aimed at those who know the rule of law is important and while having little legal background, would like to know more about the norm.
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Chapter 29: Rule of law in Asia: The case of China

Thomas E. Kellogg


Armed conflicts are increasingly interpreted as products of, in part, the breakdown of the rule of law, with weak rule of law institutions, in turn, understood as a major challenge to post-conflict reconstruction. Rule of law reform has thus become central to peacebuilding initiatives in the past decade and a half, accompanying a surge in international interventions in the periphery. Yet, results have often been disappointing, with reforms struggling to gain the necessary legitimacy within disrupted communities to function authoritatively. This chapter explores the prioritisation of the rule of law in the context of international peacebuilding, analysing the underlying assumptions and typical legal reforms, as well as their limitations and challenges in light of the purported goal of building a sustainable peace.

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