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Ruling before the Law
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  • Cited by 2
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    This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Read, Katherine and Griffiths, Laura 2018. Current Awareness. Legal Information Management, Vol. 18, Issue. 03, p. 189.

    2018. Books Received. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 49, Issue. 03, p. 464.

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    Ruling before the Law
    • Online ISBN: 9781108551502
    • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108551502
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Book description

How do legal systems actually operate outside of Western European or North American liberal democracies? To understand law and legal institutions globally, we must go beyond asking if countries comply with idealized, yet under-theorized, rule of law principles to determine how they work in practice. Examining legal regimes across different areas of criminal and civil law in both urban and rural China and Indonesia during distinct periods from 1949 to the present, William Hurst offers a new way of understanding how cases are adjudicated (and with what implications) across authoritarian, developing, post-colonial, and newly democratizing settings. This is the first systematic comparative study of the world's largest Communist and majority-Muslim nations, and the most comprehensive scholarly work in many years on the micro-level workings of either the Chinese or Indonesian legal system at the grassroots, based on a decade of research and extensive fieldwork in multiple Indonesian and Chinese provinces.

Reviews

‘No one but Hurst could have written this book. His close study of variation across and within two giant countries generates theoretical insights that go well beyond China and Indonesia, though scholars of each country will also profit. A monumental achievement and a major advance in socio-legal studies.'

Tom Ginsburg - University of Chicago Law School

‘Ruling Before the Law brings a fresh and stimulating perspective to the study of legal systems. The author rejects the dominant Rule of Law framework, in which China is understood as either having or not having the Rule of Law, or as somewhere along a Rule of Law continuum. Instead, he uses a political science perspective to posit a different way to understand the relevant characteristics of a legal regime, allowing us to understand better how and in what specific respects national legal systems either resemble or differ from each other.'

Donald Clarke - George Washington University Law School

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