Call for Papers

This year, the annual conference of the European China Law Studies Association will be organized in cooperation with the University of Oxford. As in the previous years, it will bring together scholars, policy professionals and practitioners to examine new developments, emerging questions and original approaches in relation to the creation, implementation and enforcement of law in China, and China’s increasing activity in the international and transnational legal spheres.


This conference will have two major themes, divided over two days.

The first day will concentrate particularly on metajuridical and methodological questions. While there has been a proliferation of doctrinal work on Chinese law, relatively little attention has, so far, been dedicated to the environment in which Chinese law operates, be that at the social, political, epistemological or methodological level. Nonetheless, these are questions that are very important in shaping Chinese law research and building linkages to other disciplinary approaches. Also, as the field develops, there are increasing questions of method that are posed, especially as more primary source material is becoming available. More specifically, the following questions will be addressed:

– what can history(ies) (imperial, republican, revolutionary and reform) tell us about Chinese law?

– how is legal research perceived and received in China?

– what are China’s assumptions and expectations concerning the legal system?

– what can we say about legislative and enforcement processes?

– is there anything distinctive about Chinese law studies compared with research on laws in other jurisdictions?

– can the research and debate on Chinese law stimulate and generate new theories of law in general?

– which sources can we (not) use in Chinese law research? What are their advantages and limitations?

– which questions can (should) we ask in Chinese law research?

– what does interdisciplinarity mean to the study of Chinese law?

– how have electronic media influenced research?

The second day will aim to provide cross-disciplinary perspectives on aspects of Chinese law. Instead of organizing sessions around legal-disciplinary or doctrinal boundaries, panels will be organized around broader themes, that invite analysis from different legal areas. These may be the following:

– the power, processes and politics of legislative initiatives

– the mechanisms and challenges of implementation of law

– the judicial system in transition

– law and the state

– the centre and the localities

– law and risk

– law and the market

– law and development

– law, officials and the administration

– accountability in and of law

– the legal profession

– legal consciousness and activism

– the national, the international and the transnational

These themes are indicative of sessions that may be organized, and we welcome full panel proposals that add new dimensions or challenge accepted assumptions about any aspect of Chinese law. We expressly welcome case studies, empirical research and cross-disciplinary approaches. We also expressly invite submissions from young academics.

Guidelines for submission

We invite abstracts of proposed papers and panels by 30 April 2013. Abstracts should be limited to 400 words for a single paper, and 1000 words for a panel.  Authors will be notified by 20 May 2013 about the success of their proposals. Completed papers (max. 5000 words) are due on 1 September 2013.

Submissions and other enquiries are to be sent to the conference e-mail address:

Publication opportunities

In conjunction with this conference, the China-EU Law Journal will dedicate a special edition to the topic of Chinese legal education and research. Selected papers will, with the consent of the authors, be included.

It is also foreseen that an electronic publication bundling the papers will be produced. To this end, authors are kindly requested to adhere to the OSCOLA reference style.

Practical information

In principle, conference attendants will be responsible for their own travel and housing costs, although small travel scholarships for junior academics are being envisioned.

All relevant practical information, including information on funding, will be added on this website in due course.