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You can view this on the NLA website. New search User lists Site feedback Ask a librarian Help. Advanced search Search history. Browse titles authors subjects uniform titles series callnumbers dewey numbers starting from optional. See what's been added to the collection in the current 1 2 3 4 5 6 weeks months years. Cite this Email this Add to favourites Print this page. Catalogue Persistent Identifier https: When the two are unified, justice is upheld.

For instance, most countries exercised sanctions against the apartheid regime in South Africa during the Cold War. Not only did such actions carry legitimacy in the form of a UN resolution adopted by a majority of UN members but, more importantly, the anti-apartheid policies were just in nature and in accordance with the principle of righteousness. The combination of the two explains why this particular use of sanctions was not regarded as an intervention in domestic affairs.

When comparing justice and democracy, the former proves a more useful value in promoting social fairness. At the same time, justice does not repel but rather draws support from democracy. In fact, justice may utilise democracy as a means of achieving greater social fairness while preventing unjust results.

American philosopher John Rawls set forth two principles of justice: Principle I is freedom and equality; and Principle II is a combination of equal opportunities and differentiated treatment. Principle II aims to achieve justice based on the value of fairness, which cannot be achieved by democracy alone. For instance, as the polarisation between the rich and poor intensifies due to globalisation, priority needs to be given to the principle of justice over that of democracy in order to promote common development in our age.

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The principle of democracy alone ensures only that every country, regardless of its wealth, has the right to decide on its own development agenda. In contrast, the principle of justice calls on developed countries to provide economic aid to developing states amounting to 0. Freedom is also a core value of liberalism. But human beings are a social species for whom the community is a precondition for survival.

Although social norms can be implemented within a domestic system through the monopolisation of force, violence, and chaos will inevitably prevail, should actors utilise such ability to protect their interests in an international system. Hence, the balance between the freedom of individual states and the international order becomes a crucial political issue. Rites li constitute a Chinese traditional value applicable not only to political affairs, but also one that ordinary people practice in their daily life.


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Rites refer to social norms or customs formed according to given ethics. Although a formality, a rite plays a more extensive role than law in maintaining social order. Rites are a more extensive restraining force than laws, because they function in areas unrelated to the law. Laws protect freedom of speech, but are unable to curb the hurling of abuse; rites, meanwhile, can inhibit people from uttering obscenities.

Moreover, freedom without the constraint of rites can easily give rise to violent conflicts. For instance, the American movie Innocence of Muslims is legally consistent with the principle of freedom of speech, but nonetheless caused widespread protests in many Muslim countries which resulted in numerous deaths and injuries.

The attack killed 12 people and injured Rites are the foundation of civility, and advance the social significance of human life beyond the principle of freedom. Rites help to guide humans towards civilised behaviour, thus enriching the meaning of life. Freedom without civility may lead to a regression of human society to one more akin to that of animals and beasts. Human civility, therefore, lies in the ability to distinguish between social goods and ills. For example, all animals have the freedom to excrete, but civility prohibits humans from excreting indiscriminately, as an animal might.

It is through civility that humanity constantly advances while other animals remain forever in an uncivilised state. The conventions and formalities of the Oriental and Western etiquettes may differ, but the observation of such proprieties is a shared social norm. The embrace of freedom alongside the social recognition of rites will improve human civility, thus reducing the danger of violent conflicts among human beings.

Should both rising and dominant states guide their competition for international power in accordance with the principle of civility, such competition will be peaceful, and may possibly be healthy as well. In the 21st century, innovation has become a primary method of wealth accumulation which dramatically reduces the need to control natural resources as part of the power competition between rising and dominant states.

Thus, it is possible for China and the United States to establish norms of civility that regulate their competition for global domination in a peaceful manner. The shift of world power throughout history has often been accompanied by wars between rising and dominant states which are classic manifestations of the incivility of international society.

Establishing international norms in accordance with the value of civility will help to reduce the risk of war between all states, including rising and dominant powers. The crystallisation of the value of civility amid the establishment of new international norms would not only transcend liberalism, but also advance human civilisation.

In the previous section we discussed how a combination of liberalist and Chinese traditional values could create a new set of international mainstream standards. However, this is not to say that all values within the Chinese tradition are fine and outstanding. Chinese traditional political thought includes also certain dregs and dross.

For instance, although the principles of humane authority wangdao and hegemony badao both find homes in the Chinese tradition, they nonetheless contradict each other insofar as the ways they provide international leadership. This section will clarify the differences between these two concepts, and discuss the means through which the principle of humane authority can find application in shaping the present international order.

As far back as antiquity, whenever China rose to a leading position in East Asia, a debate would arise among both high-ranking officials in the royal court and ordinary scholars as to the contrasting ruling principles of humane authority and hegemony. Because hegemony has negative connotations in modern times, its supporters have tried to find a more palatable descriptor for the concept. Rather than contrive more palatable terms for the hegemonic principle, ancient Chinese thinkers distinguished types of interstate leadership according to their ruling principle. For instance, Guanzi categorised international leadership according to descending levels of good governance: The grand ruler huang , emperor di , humane authority wang , and hegemon ba.

It is true to say that ancient Chinese ideologies have a slim chance of becoming mainstream values today; the contemporary world is after all quite different from the ancient Chinese interstate system in many respects. However, the rise of China could make possible a transposition of the values of humane authority to the present day, according to the needs of future world leadership.

As discussed in the previous section, the three elements that constitute humane authority—benevolence, righteousness, and rites—can be modernised as the values of fairness, justice, and civility through their embrace of equality, democracy, and freedom. That is to say, contemporary rising states can establish new international norms not by rejecting the values of liberalism but by merging them with the modernised values of humane authority.

Ideological Competition

This approach will foster universal acceptance of these new values and thus the establishment of a stable international order. Since the end of WWII, religious organisations have served as both representatives and protectors of disadvantaged social groups. As international norms based on the values of fairness, justice, and civility are objectively more favourable to the poor and the weak than to the rich and powerful, they therefore, appeal to religious adherents.

In addition, these three values are practiced within the norms of international organisations. For instance, the commitments of developed countries to aid developing countries constitute practice of the norm of fairness. Meanwhile, international opposition to the use of military coups as a means of achieving governmental power is a manifestation of the norm of justice, and the banning of the use of biochemical weapons constitutes a norm of civility.

Adopting these three values will help modern leading powers to gain international authority. History shows that mainstream international values are generally superseded by ones which attain a greater degree of popularity than their predecessors. In the interests of reducing external pressures, therefore, it is imperative that rising states create a new, universally acceptable ideology that legitimises their international leadership.

As the rise of any state will lead to power redistribution, or even to a shift of the world centre, that state will inevitably face opposition from those that stand to lose power. However, overcoming this opposition can be achieved through the legitimisation of an international leadership and cultivation of new mainstream values. However, the situation nonetheless raises the likelihood that a modernised variant of humane authority could be an attractive alternative for rising powers.

Modernised humane authority has three advantages over liberalism. First, it is distinct from liberalism, but not to the extent of being unacceptable to liberal states. Secondly, new norms based on this principle would be favourable to the smaller states that currently constitute the majority of UN membership.

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Thirdly, its core values are universally moral, which would inevitably increase the confidence of other countries in such a new leadership. As such, another important precondition for the elevation of humane authority is that of the consistency of values that leading states espouse both at home and abroad. Although China stands to be the most powerful rising state in the coming decade, a full embrace of the modernised principle of humane authority as a mainstream international value is difficult to envision in the foreseeable future. However, the Chinese government has recognised the inconsistencies between Marxism and traditional Chinese values, such that it has begun to reconcile the two.

In , the report of the 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress stated: A major state has two means through which to align its domestic ideology with the international mainstream value. The first is to revise its native ideology accordingly, as 19th century Japan did through its adoption of European imperialism, so making the nation a member of the colonial club. The second is to universalise its native ideology to a degree whereby it becomes a widely accepted international norm, as the United States did after the Cold War. Owing to the length of time necessary to socialise an ideology into an international system, this alternative requires that the major state maintains a durable leading position.

However, a new leading state that pursues the principle of humane authority will have the best chance of maintaining such long-term leading status. As the relationship between leading and lesser states in any international system is asymmetric as regards both strength and interdependency, the principle of humane authority will allow lesser states to realise the benefits of aligning with a leading state through trading off asymmetrical wants for lasting security.

International mainstream values play a guiding role in establishing international norms. In keeping with this maxim, the decline of liberalism will inevitably generate challenges to the current international order which, after the end of the Cold War, found itself based on the norms established under the guidance of American liberalism.

Having enjoyed a dominant status for three decades, the values of liberalism are now being challenged by the rise of competing ideologies—anti-establishmentarianism in the United States, populism in Europe, traditional values in China, Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East, and economic nationalism in both the developed and developing countries.

Although it is not yet clear which ideology will replace liberalism as the new global mainstream value, the official ideology of a rising state will have the best chance of universal adoption due to the tendency of the disadvantaged to imitate the advantaged. As China presently stands as the pre-eminent candidate in this regard, the ideologies competing for influence in its policymaking—Marxism, economic pragmatism, and traditionalism—are worthy of study.

Yet, because none of these ideologies has yet proven to be as globally influential as liberalism, it is too early to predict their future. A combination of liberalist and Chinese traditional values in the establishment of a new international mainstream value will facilitate the establishment of a better international normative order. These two factors offer the chance to combine the Chinese traditional values of benevolence, righteousness, and rites with the liberalist values of equality, democracy, and freedom, thus modernising them in the forms of fairness, justice, and civility.

Ultimately, it is the merging of these values that should prove universally acceptable to people of different countries. Furthermore, this new set of mainstream values could characterise the coming international order quite differently from that of the Cold War or post-Cold War.


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In this global climate, the modernised principle of humane authority carries certain advantages as regards becoming the mainstream international value. Unfortunately, China, the most powerful rising state today, is conflicted in this regard, thus making it difficult to predict which ideology will be elevated to the next mainstream international value. This article advocates the values of humane authority to improve the world order.

Even though they cannot guarantee a desirable world, I nevertheless believe that such values constitute the best chance of shaping an international order that is more peaceful than the one we live in today. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Sign In or Create an Account. Close mobile search navigation Article navigation. Principles of Humane Authority. Abstract The liberal hegemony of the United States is fading and faces the growing challenges from other ideologies including those from China. Schlesinger, The Coming of the New Deal: Houghton Mifflin Company, , pp.

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Haas and David W. The Hope and Reality of the Uprisings Boulder: Westview Press, , pp. Zhongyang wenxian chubanshe, , p. Renmin chubanshe, , p. Graham Allison, Destined for War: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, , pp. Harvard University Press, , pp. Westminster John Knox Press, , p. For the detailed definition, see John E.

Contemporary Chinese Political Thought: Debates and Perspectives

Roemer, Equality of Opportunity Cambridge: Rosan Smits, et al. They shall also provide such financial resources, including the transfer of technology needed by the developing country Parties, to meet the agreed full incremental costs of implementing measures that are covered by paragraph 1 of this Article and that are agreed between a developing country Party and the international entity or entities referred to in Article 11, in accordance with that Article.

The implementation of these commitments shall take into account the need for adequacy and predictability in the flow of funds and the importance of appropriate burden sharing among the developed country Parties. Shijie zhishi chubanshe, , p. Shanxi guji chubanshe, , p. Franscis Njubo Nesbitt, Race for Sanctions: African Americans against Apartheid, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, , p.

See Steve Paulson, et al. Transaction Publishers, , pp. Shanghai wenhua chubanshe, , p.