The Netherlands China Law Centre

NCLC Research Approach

In all of its activities the NCLC combines the following four research approach principles:

Concentration and Specialization

Apart from general teaching and research about the functioning and development of Chinese law in the broadest sense, the centre focuses its activities on a certain area of law: social regulation, initially concentrating on pollution, land, occupational health and product safety. It looks both at the processes of formation (processes of lawmaking) and functioning (compliance, enforcement, and conflict resolution) of regulation. A specialization in social regulation enables the centre to combine socially relevant topics with those that attract economic interest. The specialization in Chinese regulation is still unique as there are no other centres with such a core focus.


In order to understand the functioning of law in China's complex context and in order to analyze its theoretical significance, an interdisciplinary approach is of vital importance. China warrants an approach that combines legal analysis with empirical data collection and social scientific analysis because of the disparity between legislation and legal practice. The centre's interdisciplinary approach combines legal, socio-legal, economic, political, criminological and psychological knowledge, theories, and methods.


By comparing China with the well-documented and studied OECD countries as well as with other emerging markets (such as Brazil, Mexico, or India) a clear picture can be drawn about what makes China special and what problems are shared and may have shared solutions. Only through thorough comparison, based on sound comparative methodology, can an analysis of law and regulation in China lead to theory formation and have an academic contribution that is relevant outside of China as well.

Bridging Academia and Practice

The centre's activities will be organized in such a way that they hold interest for academics, policy makers, or entrepreneurs. As a result, the centre engages in teaching activities both for university students, as well as training activities for practitioners. In addition, academic research is as closely linked as possible to topics for which a demand exists amongst diverse groups of practitioners. Such research is made available for practitioners during specially organized seminars, workshops or practice oriented policy briefs.

Published by  NCLC

27 February 2015