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Chapter Summary

Advocates of diverse theoretical approaches, methodological orientations, and reform measures share the optimistic - tacit or explicit - assumption that the law can, indeed, subsume sovereign power within itself and limit it. A necessary first step was the mapping of legal exceptionalism. In China, zones of exception are scattered throughout the quasi-legal or legal spheres of party norms, constitutional law, criminal law and criminal procedure law, and administrative law. A strand in the scholarship of China's legal criminal system justice has pointed out the existence of an emerging sphere of legality and of attempts to place meaningful constraints on power. In a modernizing Leninist system, legal reform can enable the partystate to recognize a more precise divide between friend and enemy, without necessarily taming the beast of power. Once the state of exception slowly becomes a steady condition of politics, all life potentially becomes bare life.

Keywords: administrative law; constitutional law; criminal procedure law; legal exceptionalism; legal reform

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