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Human Rights, Development and Global Justice Series

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SW1.17

Somerset House East Wing

Strand

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WC2R 2LS

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China and Global Governance: Towards a Low-Cost Global Legal Order? by Matthieu Burnay

Abstract: This paper analyses the Chinese perspectives on the roles that regulatory structures and laws shall play in the orchestration of global governance. It starts with a brief presentation of the ideas and legal doctrines that have shaped the construction of the global legal order. It then turns to an analysis of the different ways in which China has engaged with the plurality of actors (i.e. states, international organisations, civil society actors), legal instruments (i.e. international law, transnational law, soft law, private standards), and values (i.e. human rights, rule of law, and democracy) that shape an increasingly globalised legal landscape. In this line, the paper will investigate the extent to which China tends to confirm, reform, or even overthrow the existing (dis-)equilibrium between law and power politics in global governance. It will be argued that China develops a pragmatic and selective approach towards the international rule of law and the international rule of power. Indeed, China seeks to take advantage of its own rise as a global power while being also more and more in favour of a low-cost version of the global legal order.

About the speaker

Dr Matthieu Burnay is a Lecturer in Global Law at Queen Mary University of London. He has an interdisciplinary background in law, political science and history. He holds a PhD in Law from the University of Leuven and a Double MSc degree in International Affairs from Peking University and the London School of Economics. At Queen Mary, Dr Burnay teaches the undergraduate courses: Law and Globalisation as well as Chinese Law and Institutions. He also serves as Academic Coordinator for the LLB programme in Global Law and Academic Coordinator for the Association of Transnational Law Schools (ATLAS). In 2017-2018, he is also a Visiting Professor at Beijing Normal University.

His main research interests are in global law and governance; the study of the political and legal aspects of EU-China relations in global governance; as well as the comparative study of the rule of law in Europe and Asia. He is particularly interested in the relationship between international law and Chinese law in the areas of global security and trade governance. His recent works include 'Chinese Perspectives on the International Rule of Law: Law and Politics in the One-Party State' (Edward Elgar, to be published 2018) and a co-edited volume on ‘China, the European Union, and the Developing World’ (Edward Elgar, 2015).


About the Human Rights, Development and Global Justice Series

Our series aims to create an open, interdisciplinary academic platform for the discussion of issues related to human rights, development and global justice. Special attention is given to the global south, but not to the exclusion of other places.

We hope to generate exchanges furthering academic insight and creativity, to strengthen the School’s connections with scholars around the world, and to enrich undergraduate and postgraduate teaching curricula among the School’s wide offering of modules related to the jurisprudence of human rights, transnational human rights, and global justice more widely.

The events series is currently convened by Dr Eva Pils. It is supported by funding provided by The Dickson Poon School of Law. For information about other events in the series, please visit the King's College London website.

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SW1.17

Somerset House East Wing

Strand

London

WC2R 2LS

United Kingdom

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