Ancilla Iuris

Lagen des Rechts
Constellations of Law


Editorial - Chinese Law: 6 1/2 Trajectories

Ancilla Iuris 2021
Special Issue: Trajectories of Chinese Law

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This editorial essay maps the six trajectories of Chinese law presented in this special issue, introducing their key arguments and working out common themes. One such common theme is the importance of Orientalism as an analytical framework for the study of Chinese law. The essay suggests that despite recent advances, including those reflected in this issue, the theory of (legal) Orientalism is still not sufficiently complex for it to avoid defeating itself. Missing, in particular, is a theoretical understanding of Oriental, or more generally, cultural stereotypes, which seeks to answer the question: At what point does our speaking of something turn into a stereotype that distorts its true nature? The essay outlines an answer by drawing on Hegel and then restates Said’s core thesis that the Orientalist bypasses the “real” Orient and reduces it to a mere stereotype of his own imagination. The restatement of Orientalism in this more robust theoretical framework shows that Said was right and wrong – in an important way.

How to quote this article
Thomas Coendet , Editorial - Chinese Law: 6 1/2 Trajectories, in: Ancilla Iuris ( 2021, 136-145.


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