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Ding Xiaodong, Public Focusing Events as Catalysts: An Empirical Study of í«Pressure-Induced Legislationsí» in China, Journal of Contemporary China, 2017

Abstract: Empowered by the media, legislations in China have, over recent years, been increasingly influenced by public focusing events. Many national legislations have been triggered by public focusing events, rather than being entirely pre-determined by the Party or by the government. After a detailed empirical study of 132 public focusing events and national legislations between 2003 and 2016, the article explores the features, the reasons, and the advantages and disadvantages of legislations triggered by public focusing events. In these í«pressure-induced legislationsí», the public focusing events serve as catalysts that create a new consensus or demand for new laws and regulations that are enacted over a short period of time, thereby influencing the national legislation. Compared to traditional Chinese legislations, pressure-induced legislations are more efficient and more responsive to the needs of the general public, but they also carry the danger of irrational judgments being made, leading to the enactment of improper laws or regulations.

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