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Jacques deLisle

Stephen A. Cozen Professor of Law & Professor of Political Science; Director, Center for East Asian Studies

Jacques deLisle

Jacques deLisle’s research and teaching focus on contemporary Chinese law and politics, including: legal reform and its relationship to economic reform and political change in China, the international status of Taiwan and cross-Strait relations, China’s engagement with the international order, legal and political issues in Hong Kong under Chinese rule, and U.S.-China relations. His writings on these subjects appear in a variety of fora, including international relations journals, edited volumes of multidisciplinary scholarship, and Asian studies journals, as well as law reviews. Continue reading…


THE BEST OF FPRI’S ESSAYS ON ASIA (editor and contributor, FPRI E-Book, 2016).

Articles and Book Chapters

China’s Rise, the U.S. and the WTO: Perspectives from International Relations Theory, 2018 U. ILL. L. REV. 57-71 (2018) (response to Gregory Shaffer and Henry Gao, China’s Rise: How it Took on the U.S. at the WTO).

Political Implications of the July 2016 Arbitration Decision in the Philippines-PRC Case Concerning the South China Sea: The United States, China, and International Law, 21 ASIAN Y.B. INT'L L. 49-82 (2015, published 2017).

China’s Maritime Disputes in the South and East China Seas: What Role for International Law?, in CHINA’S GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT: COOPERATION, COMPETITION, AND INFLUENCE IN THE 21ST CENTURY 235-290 (Jacques deLisle & Avery Goldstein eds., Brookings 2017).

Democracy and Constitutionalism in China’s Shadow: Sunflowers in Taiwan and Umbrellas in Hong Kong, in LAW AND POLITICS OF THE TAIWAN SUNFLOWER AND HONG KONG UMBRELLA MOVEMENTS 205-231 (Brian Christopher Jones ed., Routledge, 2017).

Law in the China Model 2.0: Legality, Developmentalism and Leninism under Xi Jinping, 26:103 J. CONTEMP. CHINA 68-84 (2016).

From Accepting to Challenging the Law of the Sea?: China and the South China Sea Disputes, in LEGAL THOUGHTS BETWEEN THE EAST AND THE WEST IN THE MULTILEVEL LEGAL ORDER: A LIBER AMICORUM IN HONOR OF PROFESSOR HERBERT H.P. MA 255-276 (Lo Chang-fa ed., Springer 2016).

Taiwan’s Quest for International Space: Ma’s Legacy, Tsai’s Options, China’s Choices, and U.S. Policy, 60 ORBIS 550-574 (Fall 2016).

International Law in the Obama Administration’s Pivot to Asia: The China Seas Disputes, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Rivalry with the PRC, and Status Quo Legal Norms in U.S. Foreign Policy, 48 CASE W. RES. J. INT'L L. 143-176 (2016).

Introduction: The Internet, Social Media and a Changing China, in THE INTERNET, SOCIAL MEDIA AND A CHANGING CHINA 1-27 (Jacques deLisle, Avery Goldstein & Guobin Yang eds., University of Pennsylvania, 2016).

Xi Jinping’s Impact on China’s Legal Development: Domestic and International, 3:5 ASAN FORUM 42-63 (September-October 2015).

The Rule of Law with Xi-Era Characteristics: Law for Economic Reform, Anticorruption and Illiberal Politics, in Roundtable: The Future of “Rule According to Law” in China, ASIA POLICY (National Bureau of Asian Research), no. 20 (July 2015), at 23-29.

China’s Challenges: Reform Era Legacies and the Road Ahead, in CHINA’S CHALLENGES (Jacques deLisle and Avery Goldstein eds., Univ. of Pennsylvania 2015)

Law and the Economy in China, in ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF THE CHINESE ECONOMY (Gregory Chow and Dwight Perkins eds., Routledge 2014)

Damages Remedies for Infringement of Human Rights under U.S. Law, 62 AM. J. COMP. L. (SUPP.) 457 (2014).

Law and Democracy in China: A Complicated Relationship, in DEMOCRATIZATION IN CHINA, KOREA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA?: LOCAL AND NATIONAL PERSPECTIVES 126-140 (Shelley Rigger, Lynn White and Kate Zhou eds., 2014).

China’s Legal System, in POLITICS IN CHINA: AN INTRODUCTION (William A. Joseph ed., 2014).

Taiwan and Soft Power: Competing with China and Seeking Security, in POLITICAL CHANGES IN TAIWAN UNDER MA YING-JEOU: PARTISAN CONFLICT, POLICY CHOICES, EXTERNAL CONSTRAINTS AND SECURITY CHALLENGES (Jean-Pierre Cabestan & Jacques deLisle eds., 2014).

From Economic Development to What—and Why?, in RETHINKING LAW AND DEVELOPMENT: THE CHINESE EXPERIENCE 107-145 (Yu Guanghua ed., 2013).

Troubled Waters: China's Claims and the South China Sea, 56 ORBIS 608 (2012).

Security First?: Lessons from the Roles of Law in Addressing Crises(?) in China, 4 J. NAT. SECURITY L. & POL'Y 397 (2010).

Law and China's Development Model, in IN SEARCH OF CHINA'S DEVELOPMENT MODEL: BEYOND THE BEIJING CONSENSUS (Philip Hsu, Yu-shan Wu and Suisheng Zhao, eds. 2011).

A Common Law-like Civil Law and a Public Face for Private Law: China’s Tort Law in Comparative Perspective, in TOWARDS A CHINESE CIVIL CODE: COMPARATIVE AND HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES (Martinus Nijhoff 2012).

Soft Power in a Hard Place: China, Taiwan, Cross-Strait Competition and U.S. Policy, 54 ORBIS 493 (2010).

Exceptional Powers in an Exceptional State: Emergency Powers Law in China, in EMERGENCY POWERS LAW IN ASIA 342 (Victor V. Ramraj and Arun K. Thiruvengadam, eds. 2010).

More publications can be found here.

Working Papers

Taiwan’s Quest for International Status and Security in the Tsai Era, in MATURATION OF A MINI-DRAGON: SEVENTY YEARS OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA ON TAIWAN (Hans Stockton and Yao-Yuan Yeh eds., forthcoming 2018) (with Lynne Rienner). (forthcoming 2018)

Introduction: Washington-Taipei Relations at a Crossroads, THE CHINA REVIEW (forthcoming 2018) (with Lin Gang). (forthcoming 2018)

United States-Taiwan Relations: Tsai’s Presidency and Washington’s Policy, THE CHINA REVIEW (forthcoming 2018). (forthcoming 2018)

Authoritarian Legality in East Asia: What, Why, and Whither?, in AUTHORITARIAN LEGALITY IN EAST ASIA (Weitseng Chen & Hualing Fu eds., forthcoming 2018). (forthcoming 2018)

The Path of Administrative Law in China, 13 U. PA. ASIAN L. REV. (forthcoming 2018) (with Neysun Mahboubi). (forthcoming 2018)

Inspecting Implementation and Accruing Authority: The National People’s Congress Standing Committee and Zhifa Jiancha, 13 U. PA. ASIAN L. REV. (forthcoming 2018) (with Lin Yan). (forthcoming 2018)

“All the World’s a Stage”: Taiwan’s Human Rights Performance and Playing to International Norms, in TAIWAN AND INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS: A STORY OF TRANSFORMATION (Jerome Cohen, William P. Alford, & Chang-fa Lo eds., Springer 2019)

A Great Divergence?:China and the United States, Economic and Security Relations and the Challenges for Lesser Powers in East Asia (forthcoming)

Trading Places?: China, the WTO and the United States (forthcoming)

Research Areas

  • Law and Politics of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan
  • China, International Law and International Relations
  • Economic Reform and Law in China
  • Rule of Law in China


Penn Law - Stephen A. Cozen Professor of Law (2006- ); Professor (1999-2006); Assistant Professor (1994-99); Co-Director Penn Center for Asian Law (2014- )

Law Clerk to Chief Judge Stephen G. Breyer, U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (1991-92)

Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice - Attorney-Advisor (1992-94)

University of Pennsylvania, Professor of Political Science (2010- ); Center for East Asian Studies – Director, (2009- ), Faculty (1996- ); Deputy Director, Center for the Study of Contemporary China (2012- )

Director, Asia Program, Foreign Policy Research Institute (2002- )

Professional Activities

American Society of Comparative Law, Board of Directors, 1996-

Consultant, expert witness on issues of Chinese law and government policies 1996-

Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Research Institute, 1999-; Director of the Asia Program, 2002-

Member, National Committee on United States-China Relations, 2001-

Associate Member, International Academy of Comparative Law, 2006-

Board of Editors, ORBIS, 2004-

Editorial Advisory Board, JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY CHINA, 2007-

Editorial Board, FRONTIERS OF LAW IN CHINA, 2010-


  • Chinese Law
  • China and International Law
  • Law and Economic Reform in Contemporary China
  • Public International Law
  • Torts
  • China in Transition
  • China and International Human Rights Law

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