China’s contemporary dual state and its global implications

After the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, the Chinese Party-State initiated a legal revival that raised many hopes of an eventual transition to rule of law, conceived in terms of a global constitutional model. In recent years, however, the leadership has increasingly rejected the values underpinning rule of law and relied on controlling society through arbitrary measures. Drawing on Fraenkel’s 1940 concept of the Dual State — a duality of coexisting normative and prerogative states, established to normalise ‘emergency’ exemptions from legality – I discuss the global implications of, and outline possible responses to, China’s current prerogative state revival