The rule of law in china: if it has been built, do people know about it?

Ming Yang, Juan Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper assesses the current state of public legal knowledge in China, which we regard as an essential aspect of and an empirical indicator for the development of modern legal culture. Using data from the 2004 survey on Institutionalization of Legal Reforms in China, we first demonstrate the relatively low level of public legal knowledge in China and the stark disparities between urban and rural populations. We further explore factors that can explain the variations through multivariate analyses. We find that the level of public legal knowledge is associated with individual characteristics such as gender, age, education, income, residency, and mode of production. Exposure to the outside world serves as a learning process about functions of the legal system, and the media play an important role in disseminating legal information. Educational activities focusing on the legal system or legal issues also provide an important channel for the public to acquire practical legal knowledge. We conclude by discussing potential.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-145
Number of pages23
JournalChina Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies

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