Modern China Lecture Series: Neil Diamant

3:00 pm
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Useful Bullshit: Constitutions in Chinese Politics and Society
Neil Diamant

In Useful Bullshit Neil J. Diamant pulls back the curtain on early constitutional conversations between citizens and officials in the PRC. Scholars have argued that China, like the former USSR, promulgated constitutions to enhance its domestic and international legitimacy by opening up the constitution-making process to ordinary people, and by granting its citizens political and socioeconomic rights. But what did ordinary officials and people say about their constitutions and rights? Did constitutions contribute to state legitimacy?
Over the course of four decades, the PRC government encouraged millions of citizens to pose questions about, and suggest revisions to, the draft of a new constitution.

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