Popularizing Law in China, with Jennifer Altehenger

How did the People’s Republic of China popularize basic legal knowledge after its founding in 1949? Jennifer Altehenger, Jessica Rawson Fellow in Modern Asian History and Associate Professor of Chinese History at the University of Oxford, explains how China’s party-state attempted to mobilize ordinary citizens to learn laws during the early years of the Mao period (1949–1976) and in the decade after Mao’s death.

Professor Altehenger is a historian of modern and contemporary China, in particular the history of materials and industrial design in Chinese politics and everyday life, the history of law, propaganda and information under Communist Party governance, and the history of political language and cultural production. Her first book, Legal Lessons: Popularizing Laws in the People’s Republic of China, 1949-1989 (Harvard University Asia Center, 2018) is now available in paperback.

The Harvard on China Podcast is hosted by James Gethyn Evans at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.