Carl Minzner

FLS Carl minzer 240x240

Professor of Law

Curriculum Vitae
SSRN (academic papers)
[email protected]
Office: Room 8-121
Personal Website

Faculty Assistant: Joseph Nolfo, [email protected]

Areas of Expertise: China/Chinese Law, Legal Education

  • Carl Minzner is an expert in Chinese law and governance. He has written extensively on these topics in both academic journals and the popular press, including op-eds appearing in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Christian Science Monitor.  He is the author of End of an Era: How China's Authoritarian Revival is Undermining its Rise (Oxford University Press, 2018).

    Representative academic works include China After the Reform Era, in the Journal of Democracy (2015), exploring China's transition away from the three-decades-long reform era characterized by political stability, ideological openness, and rapid economic growth; The Rise and Fall of Chinese Legal Education in the Fordham International Law Journal (2013), examining both the expansion of Chinese legal education since the late 1990s, and its impending retrenchment; and China's Turn Against Law, in the American Journal of Comparative Law (2011) analyzing Chinese authorities’ shift against legal reforms of the 1980s and 1990s.

    Prior to joining Fordham, he was an Associate Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis. In addition, he has served as Senior Counsel for the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, International Affairs Fellow for the Council on Foreign Relations, and Yale-China Legal Education Fellow at the Xibei Institute of Politics and Law in Xi'an, China. He has also worked as an Associate at McCutchen & Doyle (Palo Alto, CA) and as a Law Clerk for Hon. Raymond Clevenger of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.


    • JD, Columbia Law School
    • MIA, Columbia School of International and Public Affairs
    • BA, Stanford University
  • Academic Publications


    End of an Era: How China’s Authoritarian Revival is Undermining its Rise, Oxford University

    Press (2018), updated paperback version (2019)

    Articles and Book Chapters

    “China’s Domestic Politics and the Impact on Foreign Policy,” in China’s Grand Strategy, David

                Denoon, ed., New York University Press [forthcoming Winter 2021]

    End of China’s Reform Era, 13(4) Asia Policy 83 (2018)

    Legal Reform Under Xi Jinping, 20 Asia Policy 4 (2015)

    China After the Reform Era, 26 Journal of Democracy 130 (2015)

    The Rise of the Security State, China Quarterly 222 (June 2015)

    China at the Tipping Point? The Turn Against Legal Reform, 24 Journal of Democracy 65 (2013)

    The Rise and Fall of Chinese Legal Education, 36 Fordham Intn’l Law Journal 334 (2013) 

    China’s Turn Against Law, 59 American Journal of Comparative Law 935 (2011)         

    Riots and cover-ups: Counterproductive Control of Local Agents in China, 31 University of

            Pennsylvania J. of Int. Law 53 (2009)

    Judicial Disciplinary Systems for Incorrectly Decided Cases, in

    • 39 New Mexico Law Review 63 (2009)
    • Margaret Woo, Mary Gallagher & Merle Goldman, eds., Chinese Justice: Civil Dispute Resolution in Contemporary China, Cambridge University Press (2011)   

    Social Instability in China: Causes, Consequences, and Implications,” in C. Fred Bergsten and

    Eve Cary, eds. The China Balance Sheet in 2007 and Beyond, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Peterson Institute for International Economics (2007).

    Xinfang: Alternative to Formal Chinese Legal Institutions, 42 Stanford J. of Int. Law 103 (2006)

    New Chinese Regulations on Foundations, 2 Int. J. of Civil Society Law 110 (2004)

    Works In Translation

    逆法而动 (Turn Against Law), in Xu Xin, ed., 调解:中国与世界 (Mediation: China and the World), Chinese University of Politics and Law Press (2013).

    中国法学教育的潮起潮落 (The Rise and Fall of Chinese Legal Education), 法律与社会科学 (Law and Social Sciences) (2014)

    Shorter Pieces

    “Book Review of 'A Confucian Constitutional Order: How China's Ancient Past Can Shape Its Political Future' by Jiang Qing, edited by Daniel Bell and Ruiping Fan” China Quarterly (2013)

    China (Country Report) in Countries at the Crossroads 2011: A Survey of Democratic

    Governance. Washington: Freedom House and Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (2011).

    “Book Review of The China Legal Development Yearbook, Volumes 1 and 2, by Brill and China

    Academy of Social Sciences Press,” China Review International (2010)

    Other Publications 

    Blog Editor, Chinese Law and Politics Blog (currently inactive)

    China: The Year Ahead, ChinaFile Conversation, January 8, 2020

    Intelligentsia in the Crosshairs: Xi Jinping’s Ideological Rectification of Higher Education in China, China Leadership Monitor, December 1, 2019

    China’s Deepening Institutional Decay, East Asia Forum, August 20, 2017

    Q and A: Carl Minzner on the Shift to Personalized Rule in China, New York Times, May 24, 2016

    A return to China's isolationist past would be disastrous, LA Times, March 18, 2015 

    After the Fourth Plenum: What Direction for Law in China?, Jamestown Foundation China Brief, November 20, 2014 

    China is again slowly turning in on itself, LA Times, October 18, 2014 

    How China’s Leaders Will Rule on the Law, ChinaFile, October 15, 2014 

    Laying down the law at the Communist Party plenum, East Asia Forum, September 1, 2014 

    Old Wine in an Ancient Bottle: Changes in Chinese State Ideology, Jamestown Foundation China Brief, March 21, 2014.

    China’s Turn Against Law, Chinese Legal Reform Series, Human Rights Watch, Oct. 30, 2013

    America’s Higher Education Bubble, Caixin, Oct. 9, 2013

    China’s Higher Education Bubble, Caixin, Aug. 5, 2013

    What Direction for Legal Reform Under Xi Jinping?, Jamestown Foundation China Brief, January 4, 2013

    The Social Pressures Are Real, New York Times, Room for Debate, Nov. 23, 2012

    Chinese Legal Reform: Game On?, The Diplomat, Oct. 13, 2012 

    Rule of Law in China: Past, Present, and Future, The Diplomat, Sept. 7, 2012

    China Turns Against Law, Asian Wall Street Journal, Jul. 4, 2012

    The System That Divides China, Los Angeles Times, Mar. 16, 2010

    Chinese Civil Society in Transition, 47 China Review 8, Summer 2009

    Back and Forth From Beijing, New York Times/International Herald Tribune, May 29, 2009

    Can The U.S. Fight the Tide of History?, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jan. 1, 2009

    After Iraq War, Resist the Isolationist Impulse, Christian Science Monitor, June 19, 2007

    Corruption in China: The Anger Boils Over, International Herald Tribune, May 29, 2007

    The Rise of China and the Interests of the U.S., Ripon Forum, April/May 2007

    Social Instability in China, Causes, Consequences, and Implications, Center for Strategic and International Studies, November 2006.

    Opening the Market, 9 China Economic Review 24 (1999)

  • The Demographic Challenge: Legal and Political Issues on Both Sides of the Taiwan Straits, Fulbright Taiwan, Foundation for Scholarly Exchange, January 13, 2020; Academia Sinica, October 22, 2019.

    End of an Era, invited speaker, Graduate Institute of National Development, National Taiwan University, December 27, 2019; American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei, November 13, 2019; National Chengchi University, Taipei, November 11, 2019; Princeton University April 5, 2019; World Affairs Council of Albuquerque, March 25, 2019; UCLA, March 7, 2019; University of Southern California, March 6, 2019; University of San Diego, March 5, 2019; University of Pennsylvania, February 21, 2019; Manhattanville College, November 10, 2018; Texas A&M University, September 11, 2018; University of Texas at Austin, September 11, 2018; King’s College (London), August 2, 2018; Chatham House Institute of International Affairs (London), July 20, 2018; End of an Era, invited speaker, Academia Sinica, Taipei, June 18, 2018; Senate Foreign Relations Committee, April 30, 2018; Center for Strategic and International Studies, April 30, 2018; George Washington University, April 30, 2018; Columbia Law School, March 28, 2018; Georgetown Law School, March 22, 2018; National Committee on US-China Relations, March 14, 2018; New York University Law School, February 19, 2018; Fordham Law School, February 12, 2018.

    “China's 2018 Constitutional Reforms: A New Era in Chinese Governance?” panel participant, Association of Asian Studies Annual Conference, March 24, 2019.

    美国政治:制度侵蚀和修复 (American Politics: Erosion and Renewal), East China University of Law and Politics, Shanghai, June 13, 2018 (in Chinese).

    “Engaging a Closing China,” panel participant, Association of Asian Studies Annual Conference, March 23, 2018.

    China and Global Governance, invited speaker, Council on Foreign Relations, December 11, 2017.

    7th Conference on Chinese Capital Markets, invited speaker, NYU Center on US-China Relations, December 8, 2017.

    China Town Hall, invited speaker, New York University, October 18, 2016.

    The End of China’s Reform Era, keynote speaker, Nardi symposium, St. Joseph’s University, October 5, 2016; keynote speaker, “Comparing China: Hopes and Fears of a Rising Power” conference, University of California, Irvine, April 27, 2015; Association of Asian Studies panel, Seattle, April 1, 2016; University of California, Los Angeles, April 29, 2015; Fordham Law School workshop, April 16, 2015.

    Assessing China: Internal Politics and Peripheral Relations, invited speaker, Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, D.C., April 9, 2015.

    China Town Hall, invited speaker, Cranford High School, Cranford, NJ, October 16, 2014.

    China in Comparative Perspective, National Endowment for Democracy, Washington, D.C., May 14, 2014; NYU-Columbia China Law workshop, New York, May 2, 2014; Asia Law Committee, New York Bar Association, April 22, 2014; Bernstein Symposium, NYU Asia Law Institute-HRIC event, April 3, 2014.

    The Rise of the Security State, University of Washington Law School and National Bureau of Asian Research conference on “Contending Perspectives on the Rule of Law in China,” Seattle, November 15, 2014; Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Shanghai, June 7, 2013; City University of Hong Kong, June 5, 2013; University of California, Berkeley, CA, May 6, 2013; American Association of Asian Studies, San Diego, CA, March 23, 2013; Columbia Law School workshop, March 8, 2013; Yale Law School workshop, March 5, 2013.

    The Rise and Fall of Chinese Legal Education, University of Pennsylvania Law School conference on “The State of Legal Development in China,” April 22, 2014; Indiana University Maurer School of Law, March 12, 2014; Association for American Law Schools Annual Conference, Jan. 5, 2014; Amsterdam University, August 8, 2013; Sino-US Law Deans Conference, Suzhou, June 23-24, 2012; Law and Society Conference, Honolulu, June 5, 2012; Columbia Law School, May 9, 2012; Fordham Law School, April 18, 2012; University of Kansas Law School, March 14, 2012; University of Pennsylvania Law School, March 12, 2012.

    Social Unrest and Leadership Change: Domestic Political Challenges in China, lecture at World Affairs Council, Palm Beach, FL, January 30, 2013; World Affairs Council, Houston, TX, October 18, 2012.

    调解:中国法律的转向[Mediation: The Turn in Chinese Law] (in Chinese), talk presented at Renmin University, June 23, 2011.

    China’s Turn Against Law, Association of Asian Studies Conference, Toronto, March 1, 2012;
    University of Kansas, March 14; University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia, March 12, 2012; Jiaotong University, June 11, 2011; Law and Society Annual Meeting, San Francisco, June 3, 2011; University of Wisconsin Law School, April 21, 2011; Yale Law School, December 7, 2010; Washington University in St. Louis, January 20, 2011; Fordham Law School, January 27, 2011.

    China’s Global Presence and Domestic Challenges, lecture presented at Houston World Affairs Council, May 26, 2011.

    Law and Social Unrest in China, talk presented at Council on Foreign Relations, April 27, 2011.

    What Direction for International Human Rights Clinics?, talk at University of Maryland “Re-imagining International Clinical Law” symposium, November 17-18, 2010 Baltimore.

    Introduction to U.S. Property Law, s class taught at the P.R.C. State Intellectual Property Office, Beijing, June 30-July 3 (2010); June 16-19 (2009).

    Eminent Domain Law and Kelo v. New London, lecture at Jiaotong University (in English), May 31, 2010; East China University of Politics and Law (in Chinese), May 20, 2009, Shanghai.

    Chinese Governance in the 21st Century: Back to the Forbidden City? talk presented at Washington University School of Law, incubator workshop series, April 16, 2010; Cardozo Law School, April 7, 2010.

    Civil Society in China, lecture presented at UCLA Law School “Leading Developments in Chinese Law” conference, March 5, 2010, Los Angeles, CA.

    Chinese Domestic Politics in Transition; China-US Relations: Human Rights and Rule of Law (two lectures), keynote speaker, Houston World Affairs Council “Portrait of China” November 7, 2009.

    目标管理责任制:基层政府治理的特点和它对社会纠纷解决机制的影响 [Target Responsibility Systems: Aspects of Local Governance and Their Effect on Mechanisms for the Resolution of Social Conflict] (in Chinese), presentation at a conference sponsored by the China University of Politics and Law, Beijing, July 11-12.

    Responsibility Systems: Institutional Responses to Principal-Agent Problems in Chinese Law and Governance, lecture and talk at NYU and Columbia conference “China’s Changing Courts: Populist Vehicle or Party Puppet?,” February 19-20, 2009.

    The People's Courts: Legal and Political Reform in China since 1978, lecture presented at Houston World Affairs Council, November 7, 2008.

    Cadre Responsibility Systems: The Legalist Core of Chinese Governance, lecture presented at Columbia Law School, Chinese Legal Studies Lecture Series, September 24, 2008.
    Yale Law School, Workshop on Chinese Legal Reform, September 23, 2008.

    Human Rights in China, talk presented at Frank Church Symposium, Idaho State University, February 28-29, 2008.

    Judicial Disciplinary Systems for Incorrect Decided Cases, talk presented at the Chinese Justice Workshop at Harvard University on October 12-13, 2007.

    Interplay Between Citizen Petitions and Formal Legal Institutions, talk presented at University of California at Berkeley, Boalt School of Law, April 5, 2006;
    State Department Rule of Law Conference, November 8, 2005.

    Xinfang: Alternative to Formal Chinese Legal Institutions, lecture presented at School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, March 16, 2006;
    Yale Law School, Workshop on Chinese Legal Reform, November 1, 2005;
    Columbia Law School, Chinese Legal Studies Lecture Series, October 31, 2005.

    The Changing Role of Civil Society in China, lecture, and talk presented at the National Foreign Affairs Training Center, April 12, 2006;
    Center for Strategic and International Studies, Building a “Harmonious Society:” Faith-Based Organizations in China. September 26, 2005.

Carl Minzner Press Highlights

Fordham Law Kicks Off Spring Semester with New Faces, Classes, and Public Service Initiatives

Meet U.S. Marine Veteran and REAL Scholar Shervin Shahnazi ’26

Foreign Affairs: “Xi Jinping Can’t Handle an Aging China” by Prof. Carl Minzner

China’s Zero-Covid Policy: Shanghai Struggles With Tough Sanitary Measures

Xi Jinping Set Out to Save the Communist Party. But Critics Say he Made Himself Its Biggest Threat

China Isn’t That Strategic

China’s ‘COVID Success Story’ Might Not End Well

China’s Population Is Peaking

China Rewrites Hong Kong’s Election Rules to Guarantee Beijing “Patriots” Stay in Power

‘Two sessions’: China Expected to Unveil New Controls on Hong Kong

China Claims to Have Eliminated Poverty, but the Figures Mask Harsh Challenges

Total submission’: With Mass Arrests, China Neutralizes Hong Kong Democracy Movement

U.S. Election Won’t Resolve the World’s China Angst

Fordham Law Faculty Offer Perspectives on Coronavirus and the Law

Quarantine the Sick in New York’s Hotels

It’s Not All on Trump: China Favors Confrontation With the U.S.

Professors, Beware. A ‘Student Information Officer’ Might Be Watching.

‘Defend China’s Honour’: Beijing Releases New Morality Guidelines for Citizens

Professor Minzner Invited to Speak at “Tiananmen at 30” Congressional Hearing

How has Tiananmen Changed China?