Handbook of Protest and Resistance in China
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Handbook of Protest and Resistance in China

Edited by Teresa Wright

Featuring contributions from top scholars and emerging stars in the field, the Handbook of Protest and Resistance in China captures the complexity of protest and dissent in contemporary China, while simultaneously exploring a number of unifying themes. Examining how, when, and why individuals and groups have engaged in contentious acts, and how the targets of their complaints have responded, the volume sheds light on the stability of China’s existing political system, and its likely future trajectory.
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Chapter 4: Legal advocacy as liberal resistance: the experience of China’s human rights lawyers

Eva Pils

Abstract

China’s human rights lawyers, a relatively small group of legal professionals who emerged in the post-Mao era, insist that the Party-State follow the law in all cases, including those deemed “sensitive” by the authorities. Throughout their existence, they have faced a repressive system that treats their advocacy as criminal acts of disobedience and subversion. In the Xi Jinping era, the contrast between their liberal outlook and a system in authoritarian (or neo-totalitarian) regression has become sharper, and rights defenders are now increasingly treated as enemies. As they are pushed to engage in legal resistance, the lawyers draw on, and test the boundaries of, the right of resistance as a human right.

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