political Embeddedness

political Embeddedness

Lawyers, Political Embeddedness, and Institutional Continuity in China’s Transition from
Author(s): Ethan Michelson
Source: American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 113, No. 2 (September 2007), pp. 352-414
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/518907 .
Accessed: 29/09/2013 06:25
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Lawyers, Political Embeddedness, and
Institutional Continuity in China’s Transition
from Socialism1
Ethan Michelson
Indiana University, Bloomington

This article uses the case of Chinese lawyers, their professional troubles, and their coping strategies to build on and develop the concept
of political embeddedness. Data from a first-of-its-kind 25-city survey suggest that political embeddedness, defined broadly as bureaucratic, instrumental, or affective ties to the state and its actors,
helps Chinese lawyers survive their everyday difficulties, such as
routine administrative interference, official rent seeking, and police
harassment and intimidation. The article draws the ironic conclusion
that legal practice in China reveals at least as much about the enduring salience of socialist institutions as it does about incipient...

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