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China Political Economy Discussion Group: "China’s Rule of Mandates: Governing with Priorities rather than Laws" with Dr Mayling Birney (LSE)

When Feb 17, 2015
from 02:00 PM to 04:00 PM
Where Room 11, 3rd Floor of the History Faculty
Contact Name
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Dr Mayling Birney, Assistant Professor at the International Development Department of the London School of Economics (LSE) will present her latest research to the China Political Economy Graduate Discussion Group.

In this seminar, Dr Birney will show evidence that contemporary China has developed a distinctive system of governing in which priorities, rather than laws or leaders, ultimately govern. She calls this system a “rule of mandates” as opposed to a rule of law, a rule ‘by’ law, or a rule of man. Tracing through the institutions that uphold a rule of mandates, she will highlight how mandate-upholding institutions substitute for legislative institutions in China. While this system has destabilizing implications in the longer term, in the short term, it is able to produce partial (if relative) accountability in a context in which full legislative bargaining does not take place. In China, “mandating” substitutes for legislating.

To join the Political Economy of China Graduate discussion group and receive the recommended readings please email Vasiliki at!

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