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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…


  • Chinese Law and Politics
  • Comparative Law
  • International Law

Articles and Book Chapters

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).

The Other China Trade Deficit: Export Safety Problems and Responses, in IMPORT SAFETY: REGULATORY GOVERNANCE IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY 22 (Cary Coglianese, David Zaring, and Adam Finkel, eds. 2009).

After the Gold Rush: The Beijing Olympics and China’s Evolving International Roles, 52:3 ORBIS 179 (2009).

Development without Democratization? China, Law and the East Asian Model, in DEMOCRATIZATIONS: COMPARISONS, CONFRONTATIONS AND CONTRASTS 197 (Jose V. Ciprut, ed. 2009).

Vicious Cycles and Virtuous Circles: International Contexts, Taiwanese Democracy and Cross-Strait Relations, in CROSS-STRAIT AT THE TURNING POINT 373 (I Yuan, ed. 2009).

International Contexts and Domestic Pushback, in DEMOCRATIZATION IN GREATER CHINA 185 (Larry Diamond & Bruce Gilley eds., 2008).

Legalization without Democratization in China under Hu Jintao, in CHINA’S CHANGING POLITICAL LANDSCAPE 185 (Cheng Li ed., 2008).

“One World, Different Dreams”: The Contest to Define the Beijing Olympics, in OWNING THE OLYMPICS 17 (Monroe Price & Daniel Dayan eds., 2008).

Legalization without Democratization in China under Hu Jintao, in CHINA'S CHANGING POLITICAL LANDSCAPE PROSPECTS FOR DEMOCRACY 185 (Cheng Li, ed., 2008).

Traps, Gaps and Law in China’s Transition, in IS CHINA TRAPPED IN TRANSITION? IMPLICATIONS FOR FUTURE REFORMS (Oxford Foundation for Law, Justice and Society, 2007).

Eroding the “One China” Policy: A Tripartite Legal-Political Strategy for Taiwan, in RESHAPING THE TAIWAN STRAIT (John Tkacik ed., 2007).

China's Approach to International Law: A Historical Perspective, 94 AM. SOC'Y INT'L L. PROC. 267 (2000).

Lex Americana?: United States Legal Assistance, American Legal Models, and Legal Change in the Post-Communist World and Beyond, 20 U. PA. J. INTL ECON. L. 179 (1999).

More publications can be found here.

Working Papers

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

The Path of Administrative Law in China (with Neysun Mahboubi) (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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