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Political Liberalism and Political Embeddedness: Understanding Politics in the Work of Chinese Criminal Defense Lawyers

Sida, Liu; Halliday, Terence

Description

This article examines the meanings of politics in everyday legal practice using the case of Chinese criminal defense lawyers. Based on 194 in-depth inter- views with criminal defense lawyers and other informants in 22 cities across China, we argue that lawyers’ everyday politics have two faces: on the one hand, lawyers potentially can challenge state power, protect citizen rights, and pursue proceduralism in their daily work; on the other hand, they often have to rely on political connections...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorSida, Liu
dc.contributor.authorHalliday, Terence
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-08T22:09:13Z
dc.date.available2015-12-08T22:09:13Z
dc.identifier.issn0023-9216
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/28930
dc.description.abstractThis article examines the meanings of politics in everyday legal practice using the case of Chinese criminal defense lawyers. Based on 194 in-depth inter- views with criminal defense lawyers and other informants in 22 cities across China, we argue that lawyers’ everyday politics have two faces: on the one hand, lawyers potentially can challenge state power, protect citizen rights, and pursue proceduralism in their daily work; on the other hand, they often have to rely on political connections with state agencies to protect themselves and to solve problems in their legal practice. The double meanings of politics— namely, political liberalism and political embeddedness—explain the complex motivations and coping tactics that are frequently found in Chinese lawyers’ everyday work. Our data show that the Chinese criminal defense bar is differentiated along these two meanings of politics into five clusters of lawyers: progressive elites, pragmatic brokers, notable activists, grassroots activists, and routine practitioners. They also suggest that a principal manifestation of political lawyering is not merely short-term mobilization or revolutionary struggle against arbitrary state power, but also an incremental everyday process that often involves sophisticated tactics to manage interests that often conflict.
dc.publisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
dc.sourceLaw and Society Review
dc.titlePolitical Liberalism and Political Embeddedness: Understanding Politics in the Work of Chinese Criminal Defense Lawyers
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume45
dc.date.issued2011
local.identifier.absfor180119 - Law and Society
local.identifier.ariespublicationU4964654xPUB61
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationSida, Liu, University of Wisconsin
local.contributor.affiliationHalliday, Terence, College of Asia and the Pacific, ANU
local.bibliographicCitation.issue4
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage831
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage865
local.identifier.doi10.1111/j.1540-5893.2011.00458.x
local.identifier.absseo970118 - Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies
dc.date.updated2020-12-27T07:36:13Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-80155154594
local.identifier.thomsonID000298061700002
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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