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China’s Transition and the Limits of the American Constitutional Perspective

Michael W. Dowdle
Publication date: 
Fri, 16 Nov 2007

The standard frameworks used to evaluate constitutional systems are not well suited to exposing transitional capacity. The constitutional problems that Minxin Pei’s Trapped in Transition focuses on do not reveal the system’s eventual capacity to transcend them.

There is significant  potential for constitutional development in  China. The constitutional system is rapidly  inter-penetrating other political and social systems within China’s civil and political environment. There has been a recent explosion  in constitutional discourse across all sectors of Chinese society, giving rise to experimentation and diffusion of constitutional innovations. 
We might therefore conclude that China, while deficient in many respects, also enjoys a significant capacity to find solutions for its constitutional problems.