Globalization, disruption, post-globalization. The COVID-19 pandemic and states’ responses are transforming the world by freezing and rerouting global supply chains, blocking the movement of peoples, and shifting or concretizing states’ alliances.

These changes have led to national debates over policies regarding health, security, freedom, and privacy. All eyes are watching as different political systems and models of governance, whether democratic, authoritarian, or in-between, respond to socio-economic crisis. Whereas post-2008 financial crisis, China was poised to be the champion of economic globalization, the pandemic has significantly altered the landscape of global trade, investment, and humanitarian aid. The study of how China is engaging with developing countries and international organizations has never been more vital, particularly as the world enters a new stage of recovery and regrowth.

The “China, Law and Development” project (CLD), funded by the European Research Council, is a 5-year, interdisciplinary and multi-sited research project that aims to understand the role of law in China’s global development, including China’s shaping of international law and the internal legal and regulatory orders of host states.

This project breaks new ground in analyzing Chinese approaches to “law and development” in recipient or host states in the global South, including its activity in international legal, development, and financial organizations. The research emphasizes a rigorously empirical design with the aim of providing neutral academic analysis on one of the most important questions of the twenty-first century: at a time when economic paradigms are being recast in real time, what does China’s role in the law and development field mean for the world?