Paul Gewirtz is the Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law at Yale Law School and is also the director of Yale Law School’s China Center. He teaches and writes in a variety of legal and policy fields, including Constitutional Law, Federal Courts, Chinese Law, and American Foreign Policy. Among other works, his publications include the books Law’s Stories: Narrative and Rhetoric in the Law (Yale University Press, 1998), The Case Law System in America (University of Chicago Press, 1989), and nine volumes of readings and materials on Comparative Constitutional Law.

Yale’s China Center, which Gewirtz founded in 1999 as the China Law Center, carries out research and teaching, and also undertakes a wide range of cooperative projects with government and academic institutions in China on legal reform and policy issues. He currently leads a Track II Dialogue on U.S.-China Relations between senior former officials from the United States and China. While on leave from Yale, Gewirtz was part of President Bill Clinton’s administration, where he served as Special Representative for the Presidential Rule of Law Initiative at the U.S. Department of State. In that post, he conceived and led the U.S.-China legal cooperation initiative agreed to by President Clinton and China’s President Jiang Zemin at their 1997 and 1998 Summit meetings, and he accompanied President Clinton to China in 1998.

Before joining the Yale Law School faculty, Gewirtz served as a Law Clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall of the Supreme Court of the United States and practiced law at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering and at the Center for Law and Social Policy. He is a Guest Professor at Peking University Law School and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Law Institute.

Last Updated: November 8, 2014



No Winners or Losers, Please

Paul Gewirtz
Who will be the winner of the upcoming Trump-Xi summit? My answer: That’s a dangerous—and wrongheaded—question to focus on. Yes, we want the U.S. to win, but the U.S.-China relationship must be played and judged as a long game.The present situation...



Obama’s Chance to Get China Right

Paul Gewirtz
With much of his domestic agenda now stymied by the Republican sweep of Congress, President Obama’s room for maneuver remains greatest in foreign affairs. Yet with much of the Middle East in flames, an angry Vladimir Putin threatening Russian...



Xi, Mao, and China’s Search for a Usable Past

Paul Gewirtz
Since its founding, the United States has had understandable pride in its great achievements, but also has had to reckon with its complex moral history—beginning but hardly ending with the fact that our original Constitution accepted the evil of...



A Re-Opening to China?

Paul Gewirtz
Five months into his second term, President Obama is about to undertake the most important diplomatic initiative of his presidency: an effort to reshape the relationship with China. With little fanfare thus far but considerable boldness on both...

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