Carl Minzner is Professor of Law at Fordham University. An expert in Chinese law and governance, Minzner has written extensively on these topics in both academic journals and the popular press. His op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Christian Science Monitor.

He has served as Senior Counsel for the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. He was a 2006-2007 International Affairs Fellow for the Council on Foreign Relations, and a 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.

Minzner holds a B.A. from Stanford University, a M.I.A. from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a J.D. from Columbia Law School.

Last Updated: July 22, 2015

Viewpoint

08.11.16

The Future of China’s Legal System

Neysun A. Mahboubi, Carl Minzner & more
In early August, Beijing held show trials of four legal activists—a disheartening turn for those optimistic about legal reform in China. What are the prospects for the development of the rule of law in China under Communist Party Secretary Xi...

Conversation

03.04.16

Xi Jinping: A Cult of Personality?

Jonathan Landreth, Taisu Zhang & more
By some accounts, Chinese Presdient Xi Jinping is the most powerful leader the country has  had since Mao Zedong. One arrow in his quiver that echoes Mao’s armory is Xi’s embrace of popular song, listened to these days not on the radio or...

Conversation

07.21.15

Is China’s Reform Era Over and, If So, What’s Next?

Carl Minzner, Jeremy L. Wallace & more
Fordham Law School professor and regular ChinaFile contributor Carl Minzner says we've arrived at “China After the Reform Era,” a development that’s “not entirely bad” but also has a “dark side.” Minzner’s conclusions, excerpted below, come...

Conversation

05.14.15

The Future of NGOs in China

Isabel Hilton, Carl Minzner & more
Last week, China’s National People’s Congress released the second draft of a new law on “Managing Foreign NGOs.” Many foreign non-profits in China have operated in a legal gray area over the years. The law [full English translation here] establishes...

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10.15.14

How China’s Leaders Will Rule on the Law

Carl Minzner
Last week, as the world watched the student demonstrations in Hong Kong, China’s Politburo announced the dates for the Communist Party’s annual plenary session would be from October 20-23. As in previous years, top leaders will gather in Beijing to...

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09.03.13

China’s Higher Education Bubble

Carl Minzner
The number of university graduates in China has exploded.In 1997, 400,000 students graduated from four-year university programs. Today, Chinese schools produce more than 3 million per year. But employment rates at graduation have plunged. And remote...

Conversation

07.18.13

Xu Zhiyong Arrested: How Serious Can Beijing Be About Political Reform?

Donald Clarke, Andrew J. Nathan & more
Donald Clarke:When I heard that Xu Zhiyong had just been detained, my first thought was, “Again?” This seems to be something the authorities do every time they get nervous, a kind of political Alka Seltzer to settle an upset constitution. I searched...

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07.11.13

China at the Tipping Point?

Carl Minzner
What will be the future of China’s authoritarian political system?Many predicted that China’s rapid development over the past several decades would inevitably lead to gradual liberalization. Economic growth was expected to generate a cascade of...

Viewpoint

11.14.12

The Future of Legal Reform

Carl Minzner
Carl Minzner, Professor of Law at Fordham University, talks here about the ways China’s legal reforms have ebbed and flowed, speeding up in the early 2000s, but then slowing down again after legal activists began to take the government at its word,...

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Social Science Research Network
07.01.12

Chinese authorities are reconsidering legal reforms they enacted in the 1980s and 1990s. These reforms had emphasized law, litigation, and courts as institutions for resolving civil grievances between citizens and administrative grievances against the state. But social stability concerns have led top leaders to question these earlier reforms...

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