For much of 2013, a vigorous and wide-ranging debate has raged

in intellectual circles in China over the need for constitutional reform.

The debate has seen the emergence of three camps: the socialist

constitutionalists, who favor a gradualist reform path that

adheres to the current constitution; the liberals, who are skeptical

that meaningful reform can and will take place under existing constitutional

arrangements; and the Leftists, who have vigorously attacked

reform proposals as no more than thinly-veiled attempts to

undermine the one-Party state.

This debate, which reached its apex during the summer months,

has now quieted somewhat, with socialist constitutionalists reasserting

their position as the voice of the moderate mainstream.

Though the outpouring of commentary has not led to any specific

reforms, nonetheless it did demonstrate the strong consensus

among academics and intellectuals in favor of constitutional

change. The debate also highlighted the frustration among many

intellectuals over the glacial pace of legal and political reform over

the past decade, and served as a vehicle for public outreach and

education on the meaning of and prospects for constitutional development

in China.

All are welcome, no registration is necessary. For more information,

please contact Dr. Rogier Creemers (convener):

rogier.creemers@csls.ox.ac.uk