The purpose of this paper is to examine how the generally accepted notion of Chinese “lawlessness” distorts the Chinese behavior by trying to understand it through the Western concept of the “rule of law” and to examine how the concept of “storied space” offers a more contextual understanding of the Chinese style of maintaining social order.
The paper adopts a theoretical approach.
Recent developments in fields ranging from neurobiology to complexity thinking and storytelling are coming together in a way of thinking about human social systems that has been called “storied space.” Applying this way of thinking suggests that current efforts, among both Chinese and Westerners, to apply the Western “rule of law” may actually distort the understanding of a series of behaviors often called “Chinese lawlessness”. A storied space approach suggests a different understanding and the need for a different way of addressing these concerns.
At a time when economic and political cooperation between Chinese and Westerners is becoming more important, this approach offers what may be a more efficacious way of understanding each other and, therefore, addressing the very real differences.
This paper would be the first published attempt to apply the idea of storied space to the legal issues that arise from the different ways in which Chinese and Western culture maintain social order.
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