>

Citizens’ Constitutional Awareness over the Sixty Years of China’s Social Transformation

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.12, 2014

 

Citizens’ Constitutional Awareness over the Sixty Years of China’s Social Transformation

(Abstract)

 

Han Dayuan and Meng Fanzhuang

 

Constitutional awareness is a general term for citizens’ constitutional knowledge, views, concepts and thought. It provides the spiritual impetus for constitutional practice, democratic politics and the development of the rule of law, and is an indicator of the degree of the rule of law in a country. In the course of social transformation, constitutional awareness represents the inner spiritual strength of the constitutional order, and is itself a “cultural soft power” that promotes social change, especially the remolding of society’s normative judgments and value basis. At the same time, a stable and mature constitutional awareness is the foundation ensuring sound social transformation. Over the last 60 years, China’s social development has followed a tortuous path, but as a result of the constitutional awareness of the populace, the 1954 Constitution and the 1982 Constitution have always been vehicles and forces for social cohesion and harmony. The key point in the improvement of the supervisory mechanism for constitutional implementation is that the idea of rule of law centered on constitutional awareness can truly become a basic value consensus for different groups and citizens at the national, governmental and social levels. Only when we adhere to the concept of constitutional supremacy and adopt a more rational, practical and open-minded approach to exploring the pathways and mechanisms for constitutional implementation will we have a firm constitutional foundation for the comprehensive implementation of rule of law in China.