Equity, Justice and Social Change

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.7, 2015


Equity, Justice and Social Change



Li Gang, Liao Jianhui, Liu Zuoxiang and Wang Lulu


For Chinese academics, starting from the Chinese situation, carrying out profound multi-disciplinary research related to equity and justice, systematically investigating related historical events, literature and institutions in the course of human civilization, and summing up the rules of its development is an historical mission and epochal responsibility, one that provides intelligent support for the fulfillment of the Chinese nation’s great revival. For this purpose, the Social Sciences in China Press and the Huazhong University of Science and Technology co-sponsored the Second Multidisciplinary Forum of Chinese Social Sciences: Equity, Justice and Social Change. This special collection is a selection of the papers delivered by scholars attending the conference. Both Li Gang, researcher at the Institute of Industrial Economics of CASS, and Liao Jianhui, from the State Grid Energy Research Institute, maintain that although various carbon emission reduction plans based on present and historical emissions have been put forward to cope with climate change, such plans will have difficulty in coordinating the interests of developed and developing countries. The concept of carbon capital stock can be used to measure the responsibility for historical emissions borne by different countries, including developed countries. Designing global plans for carbon emission reduction that are based on carbon capital stock and include the two categories of justice and equity can balance the interests of developed and developing countries and boost global technological cooperation and transfer, enabling the two groups of countries to cope with climatic change together. Liu Zuoxiang, one of the first group of visiting professors at the Collaborative Innovation Center of Judicial Civilization, Jilin University, and researcher at the Institute of Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, propounds the idea that rights equality is one of the essential core points of the socialist rule of law and the concrete embodiment of the principle that all are equal before the law. As a rule of law concept, rights equality is about equality of opportunities and equal capacity as a legal subject and is reflected and embodied in a country’s legal system. The Chinese legal system has carried out complete institutional design and categorized arrangements for rights equality, but the real fulfillment of rights equality requires a process of transformation from statutory rights to actual rights. Professor Wang Lulu of the School of Public Administration of Nanjing Normal University and the Moral Culture Coordination and Innovation Center of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics holds that with the improvements in marketization and informatization and the extension of the space for public life in rural society in transition, the traditional order of rule by rites is becoming less and less capable of coping with the increasingly complicated rural interest relations and social contradictions. However, establishment of the modern order of the rule of law still faces many difficulties. In the face of the symbiosis and tension between the order represented by rule by rites and that of the rule of law in rural society during the period of transformation, we cannot blindly press ahead with substituting “law” for “rites,” or expect to counter “law” with “rites.” Instead, we should seek their mutual accommodation and integration; that is, we should maintain the existing ethical values while rebuilding a new rural order that can truly respond to the just claims of rural dwellers.