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Tigers without Teeth By Scott Wilson

Tigers without Teeth by Scott Wilson

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This book analyzes the rise of civil society and legal contentiousness in China as the author examines how AIDS carriers and pollution victims pursue justice. His case studies highlight the development of civil society as well as the limitations to the "politics of justice" as the system balances between the rule of law and regime stability.

Tigers without Teeth Summary

Tigers without Teeth: The Pursuit of Justice in Contemporary China by Scott Wilson

This compelling book analyzes the rise of civil society and legal contentiousness in contemporary China. Scott Wilson examines how Chinese AIDS carriers and pollution victims, relying on weak laws and judicial institutions, pursue justice and protection of their rights in Chinese courts and civil society. In exploring the "politics of justice" in China, the author contends that civil society and legal rights advance when their organizers have support from pockets of the Chinese Communist Party, resources from international groups, and the backing of protesters. Even lawsuits that fail in the courts can raise societal consciousness of social issues and can lead to revised state policies to address the substantive claims of disadvantaged citizens. Underlying the politics of justice is the regime's attempt to balance commitments to legal development and its interest in regime stability. Wilson argues that the Chinese state has looked more favorably upon pollution victims' civil-society organizations and lawsuits than those of AIDS carriers. Going beyond the standard overviews of China's legal system, Tigers without Teeth is unique in its close comparison of legal activism on two sensitive and politically relevant social issues. It provides important insights into the development of civil society, as well as highlighting limitations to the pursuit of justice as the system balances between the development of rule of law and regime stability.

Tigers without Teeth Reviews

Wilson examines the evolving relationship between civil society and the legal system of the People's Republic of China since the mid-1990s. The work focuses on the pursuit of justice through the Chinese legal system by victims of environmental pollution and by HIV/AIDS carriers. Wilson's analysis of the struggle of these two disadvantaged groups to organize, seek their day in court, and strengthen legal protections is well documented and insightful. His findings include national and local regulations that work against the formation of regional and national civil organizations, frequent court denial of hearings for cases with political implications, the privileged legal position of government-backed civil advocacy groups, legal statutes that are vague and without enforcement power, a political climate that prizes stability and order over justice and compensation, and societal orientations that favor arbitration over court proceedings. Still, Wilson presents a picture of a society witnessing a growing role for civil organizations and the legal profession in tempering the actions of government and party officials. This work is highly recommended for graduate level research collections on China, environmental law, health care law, and civil society. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate, research, and professional collections. * CHOICE *
This engagingly written book. . . .covers an impressive combination of topics for those interested in issues of justice within China's legal system, for HIV/AIDS carriers, and for environmental pollution victims. This well-researched book provides an in-depth analysis of the vulnerabilities in China's legal system. It is essential reading for anyone struggling to understand how the environmental pollution victims and HIV/AIDS carriers struggle for justice in China. * Social Justice Research *
A must-read.... Wilson adds new depth to scholarship on modern China studies by presenting a detailed picture of Chinese civil society's struggle for legal justice in the last two decades. This book is unique in its in-depth analysis of the development of China's environmental law and health care law, so students and researchers...can find a great deal of first-hand data here.... A high-quality and well-written academic work that demands attention of anyone interested in the development of the legal system and civil society in China. * China Quarterly *
Scott Wilson's book, Tigers without Teeth: The Pursuit of Justice in Contemporary China, is intellectual and accessible. This detailed analysis of the politics of law provides an important contribution to the study of law, political advocacy and the development of civil society in China. * Journal of Chinese Political Science *
Scott Wilson's superb book provides a sophisticated analysis of the state of law and civil society development in contemporary China. Through a detailed study of HIV/AIDS NGOs and environmental NGOs, Wilson demonstrates with finesse the politics of justice in China. This is an important addition to the burgeoning field of study on law, civil society, and social change in China. -- Jude Howell, London School of Economics and Political Science
A thought-provoking treatment of the 'politics of justice' in China that focuses on legal activism by pollution victims and HIV/AIDS carriers. Wilson skillfully yokes together litigation, protest, and activities by civil society groups to give us a fresh perspective on regime legitimacy, legal change, political advocacy, rights consciousness, and the delivery of social justice in China. -- Kevin J. O'Brien, University of California, Berkeley
Wilson's important study takes readers inside the Chinese bureaucracy to help us understand why pollution victims fare better in court than HIV/AIDS carriers. Intelligent and highly readable, Tigers without Teeth captures the Janus-faced nature of China's legal development as well as the uneven rise of civil society. -- Rachel Stern, University of California Berkeley; author of Environmental Litigation in China: A Study in Political Ambivalence

About Scott Wilson

Scott Wilson is Alfred Walter Negley Professor of Politics, The University of the South.

Table of Contents

Preface List of Acronyms List of Tables 1 Introduction: "Tigers without Teeth?" Dilemmas of Rule of Law and Civil Society in Nondemocratic Regimes Challenges to the Pursuit of Legal Justice Why Study Environmental Pollution Victims and HIV/AIDS Carriers? Linking Civil Society Development, Litigation, and Rule of Law Understanding the Divergent State Responses to Looming Crises A Look Ahead Notes 2 State Management of Civil Society and the Judiciary Contending Approaches to Chinese Civil Society Civil Society and the Judiciary as Arenas of Contestation Categories of Civil Society Organizations and Registration Rules Sources of Civil Society Organization Autonomy Regulatory Changes and Control over Civil Society Organizations UNAIDS and the Rift with China's State over the Global Fund China's Judiciary Party and State Influence over the Courts Sources of Judicial Autonomy Civil Society and Reining in Cause Lawyers Conclusion: China's State in the Trenches Notes 3 The Development of China's Environmental and HIV/AIDS Crises Institutions and Epidemics in China Marketization and Globalization Legislation and Stigmatization Ministry of Health The Spread of HIV/AIDS in China Institutional Origins of China's Environmental Crisis Environmental Regulations Economic Institutions The Environmental Protection Bureaucracy 7 China's Environmental Decline 7 The Mao Era (1949-1978) 7 The Post-Mao Era (1978-Present) Conclusion: Institutional Origins and Responses to Crises Notes 4 Civil Society Responses to HIV/AIDS and Environmental Pollution The Development of HIV/AIDS Organizations SARS Crisis China CARES Program Limits to State-Centered Approaches to HIV/AIDS International Efforts to Empower Chinese AIDS Groups and Their Limits Chinese Grassroots NGOs-Bounded Autonomy A Fractured Civil Society: China's HIV/AIDS Organizations Environmental Civil Society Groups Emergence of Environmental Civil Society Groups Environmental Legal Aid Groups The Politics of Civil Society Development and Legal Aid Notes 115 5 HIV/AIDS Carriers Settling for Discrimination Legal and Regulatory Context of HIV/AIDS Carriers' Rights State Attempts to Keep HIV/AIDS Social Conflict Out of the Courts Discrimination against HIV/AIDS Carriers Discrimination and the Right to Health Care Discrimination and Health Insurance Employment Discrimination Compensation for Contracting HIV/AIDS from the Mishandling of the Blood Supply "We Cannot Control Our Anger Anymore" Conclusion: Settling for Discrimination? Notes 6 Litigating for Pollution Victims' Rights Development of Chinese Environmental Laws and Regulations Development of Environmental Litigation in China Joint Litigation Health Damages Right to Know Halting Pollution Violations Efforts to Improve Implementation of Environmental Regulations "Scientific Development," "Harmonious Society," and Litigation Notes 7 Who May Defend the "Public Interest"? The Legal Basis of Chinese Environmental Public Interest Litigation The Slow Development of Environmental Public Interest Litigation Law Revisions and Environmental Public Interest Litigation GONGO Leadership of Public Interest Litigation and Societal Quiescence Courts and the Politics of Environmental Adjudication Representing the Public Interest: Citizen-State Struggles in Civil Society Notes 8 Conclusion: Helping Tigers Grow Teeth Factors Propelling Rights Protection in China International Funding and Linkages Mobilization of Protest and Media Litigation Regime Allies Obstacles to Rights-Based Contention Uneven and Fragmented Civil Society Decentralized and Fractured Bureaucracy and Judiciary Is a Rights Revolution Incompatible with Regime Maintenance? Notes Interview List Bibliography Chinese Language Sources About the Author

Additional information

Tigers without Teeth: The Pursuit of Justice in Contemporary China by Scott Wilson
Rowman & Littlefield
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