Shitong Qiao

Shitong Qiao is Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Hong Kong. He was Global Associate Professor of Law at NYU School of Law (Fall 2017). His doctoral dissertation, “Chinese Small Property: The Co-Evolution of Law and Social Norms,” won the Judge Ralph K. Winter Prize (awarded annually to the best student paper written in law and economics at Yale Law School) and the inaugural Masahiko Aoki Award for Economic Paper, and was published by Cambridge University Press. His recent publications include Exclusionary Megacities (co-authored with Wendell Pritchett; Southern California Law Review) and Rights-Weakening Federalism (Minnesota Law Review).

Designation: The University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Law
Institution: The University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Law
Paper: The Authoritarian Commons: Divergent Paths of Neighborhood Democratization in Three Chinese Megacities
Abstract: "Must we choose between the benefits of cooperative use of scarce resources and our liberal commitments to autonomy? Hanoch Dagan and Michael Heller address this question in their 2001 Yale Law Journal article and presents their now-famous liberal commons model comprising the decision-making spheres of individual dominion, democratic self-governance, and cooperation-enhancing exit. Their liberal commons assumes a liberal state-- answering their question in an illiberal, or more specifically, an authoritarian state, would be more challenging but could be more meaningful: liberal commons at the local level have the potential of triggering a cascade of liberalizing the authoritarian state. Digging into the two-decade development of homeowners’ associations in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, this paper discusses the achievements, challenges and different strategies of building liberal residential communities in three Chinese megacities, and investigates how different conception of property rights (as political rights, social rights or legal rights), and different authoritarian states at the local level (repression, fragmentation, or coordination) have led to differentiated percentage and vitality of liberal commons in the above cities. This paper explains the striking differences among the three cities and deepens our understanding of the role of state and law in community governance. It also sheds light on the future of authoritarian states."