How has the rule of law evolved in China and how does it function today and tomorrow? How does law relate to political and economic developments, and what political and economic barriers are there to ongoing legal reforms? How do Chinese citizens have access to justice and what explains success and failure of citizens' rights invocation? What role does law play in everyday life and economic affairs? How do the development of the rule of law and access to justice shape China’s regulatory practice?
How do Chinese national and local lawmakers make laws and regulations? How does the process of lawmaking influence the quality of legislation, especially in terms of implementability? How and why do lawmakers choose (combinations of) certain instruments of regulation, when choosing between command and control, economic, or voluntary instruments?
Why do regulated companies comply with or violate regulation? What is the effect of state-led enforcement on compliance? How does compliance vary for different regulatory instruments? How do social and economic pressures affect compliance? How do characteristics of the regulated actor itself affect compliance?
How is administrative and criminal law enforcement of regulation organized? What styles of enforcement are used in practice and how do different styles affect compliance? How do central-local relations affect enforcement, and how are such relations changing? How does the continued usage of enforcement campaigns influence enforcement styles, effectiveness, efficiency, accountability and equity?
What role can local communities, NGOs and consumers play in the formation and implementation of regulation in an authoritarian context such as the Chinese? When can social actors be effective in strengthening enterprise regulation? What legal and political tools work best for society-based regulation?
What role can economic instruments such as tradable permits, fees, and taxes play in improving the functioning of regulation in China? What role can voluntary instruments such as certification schemes, corporate social responsibility, and voluntary contracts play in improving regulation in China? How does the functioning of state enforcement and society-based regulation influence the effectiveness of market/voluntary regulation?