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Australian Journal of Asian Law

Abstract from Volume 5 No 2 (2003)

The Politics of Mediation in a Chinese County: The Case of Luo Lianxi

HL Fu Department of Law, University of Hong Kong. The article was originally presented to the Law and Society Association annual conference held in Vancouver, Canada in 2002.

This article explores the process of dispute resolution in rural China between peasants and their village authorities. The central government uses local dispute resolution to promote political and social stability and requires the village authorities to contain local disputes within localities rather than permitting them to be lodged for resolution with external authorities. It is argued that village and township authorities have been largely successfully in meeting this policy outcome, although they have sometimes faced resistance. The study examines Chinese legal culture in a day-to-day village-level setting, providing a 'snapshot' of dispute resolution in rural China. Through a case study of a tax collection dispute, the article demonstrates that, contrary to some scholarly views of peasant culture, aggrieved peasants are well aware of their rights.

(2003) 5(2) Asian Law 107

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