> Publications > China Social Science Review > 2021 > no.2(June 2021)

Seeking a Balance between Academic Autonomy and Public Responsibility: Problems with and Rebuilding of Contemporary China’s Academic Evaluation of Jurisprudence

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China Social Science Review

No.2, 2021


Seeking a Balance between Academic Autonomy and Public ResponsibilityProblems with and Rebuilding of Contemporary China’s Academic Evaluation of Jurisprudence 



Lei Lei


A comparison with Germany’s jurisprudential academic evaluation shows that of contemporary China is based on hierarchical and quantitative standards. In essence, it is academic administration. This tendency and its associated characteristics permeate the Chinese evaluation of jurisprudential research (for evaluating academic performance and project funding) and of scholars in this field (for evaluating academic assessment and academic reputation in human resources). In general, the German evaluation mechanism emphasizes academic autonomy, focuses on stimulating scholars innate research motivation, and adopts diversified and qualitative evaluation methods. China’s system, on the other hand, emphasizes the public responsibilities to be assumed by academics, lays weight on external accountability and direction, and employs a hierarchical and quantitative evaluation system. To conform to the nature of jurisprudence and promote the healthy growth of jurisprudential scholarship, we need to change the evaluation of jurisprudential research in contemporary China. However, the differences in the two countries cultural traditions and institutional and social environment mean that China cannot and should not copy the German model completely. Our future direction should be to build a jurisprudential academic evaluation system with a diverse balance covering both subject and object, as well as constructing a broader evaluation system, one that is more open for the subjects of evaluation and is more reasonably classified, and more balanced evaluation standards. This will enable us to achieve a balance between academic autonomy and public responsibility.