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Title: The rule of law in China : if it has been built, do people know about it?
Authors: Yang, M
Chen, J 
Issue Date: 2009
Source: The China review, 2009, v. 9, no. 1, p. 123-145 How to cite?
Journal: The China review 
Abstract: This paper assesses the current state of public legal knowledge in China, which we regard as an essential aspect of and an empirical indicator for the development of modern legal culture. Using data from the 2004 survey on Institutionalization of Legal Reforms in China, we first demonstrate the relatively low level of public legal knowledge in China and the stark disparities between urban and rural populations. We further explore factors that can explain the variations through multivariate analyses. We find that the level of public legal knowledge is associated with individual characteristics such as gender, age, education, income, residency, and mode of production. Exposure to the outside world serves as a learning process about functions of the legal system, and the media play an important role in disseminating legal information. Educational activities focusing on the legal system or legal issues also provide an important channel for the public to acquire practical legal knowledge. We conclude by discussing potential approaches to increasing Chinese public legal knowledge and narrowing the disparities, including increasing the population's education and income levels and broadening access to special educational activities and coverage by the media.
ISSN: 1680-2012
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