The Impact of China's 1989 Tiananmen Massacre: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Impact of China's 1989 Tiananmen Massacre

1st Edition

Edited by Jean-Philippe Béja


280 pages

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This book offers a unique insight into the role of human rights lawyers in Chinese law and politics. In her extensive account, Eva Pils shows how these practitioners are important as legal advocates for victims of injustice and how bureaucratic systems of control operate to subdue and marginalise them. The book discusses how human rights lawyers and the social forces they work for and with challenge the system. In conditions where organised political opposition is prohibited, rights lawyers have begun to articulate and coordinate demands for legal and political change.

Drawing on hundreds of anonymised conversations, the book analyses in detail human rights lawyers’ legal advocacy in the face of severe institutional limitations and their experiences of repression at the hands of the police and state security apparatus, along with the intellectual, political and moral resources lawyers draw upon to survive and resist. Key concerns include the interaction between the lawyers and their bureaucratic, professional and social environments and the forms and long term political impact of resistance. In addressing these issues, Pils offers a rare evaluative perspective on China’s legal and political system, and proposes new ways to assess domestic advocacy’s relationship with international human rights and rule of law promotion.

This book will be of great interest and use to students and scholars of law, Chinese studies, socio-legal studies, political studies, international relations, and sociology. It is also of direct value to people working in the fields of human rights advocacy, law, politics, international relations, and journalism.

Table of Contents

Introduction: June 4th 1989: A Watershed in Chinese Contemporary History 1. June Fourth: Memory and Ethics 2. The Chinese Communist Party and 4 June 1989 —Or how to get out of it and get away with it 3. The Impact of the June 4th Massacre on the pro-Democracy Movement 4. The Chinese Liberal Camp in Post-June 4th China 5. Wang Xiaobo and the No Longer Silent majority 6. The Seeds of Tiananmen: Reflections on a Growing Chinese Civil Rights Movement 7. The practice of law as conscientious resistance: Chinese weiquan lawyers’ experience 8. The Politicisation of China's Law-Enforcement and Judicial Apparatus 9. The Enduring Importance of Police Repression: Laojiao, the Rule of Law and Taiwan’s Alternative Evolution 10. The Impact of the Tiananmen Crisis on China’s Economic Transition 11. The Tiananmen Incident and the Pro-Democracy Movement in Hong Kong 12. How China managed to de-isolate itself on the international stage and re-engage the world after Tiananmen 13. China and International Human Rights: Tiananmen’s Paradoxical Impact 14. A Shadow over Western Democracies: China’s Political Use of Economic Power

About the Editor

Jean-Philippe Béja is a Senior Researcher at CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), and CERI-Sciences-Po (Centre for international Studies and Research), Paris, France. He is currently conducting research at the French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC) and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Government and Public Administration at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

About the Series

China Policy Series

With the rise of China and its impact on the world, interest in China has increased drastically in recent years. This series focuses on policy-oriented research and scholarly works with policy implications, on all aspects of contemporary Chinese economy, politics, society, environment, journalism and cultures.  It also covers China’s foreign relations with major international organizations such as the United Nations, World Trade Organization, and World Bank, and major powers such as the United States, European Union (and its member states), Japan and others.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies