Warp, Weft, and Way

Chinese and Comparative Philosophy 中國哲學與比較哲學

New articles on Democracy and on Confucianism

Two new articles in the latest China: An International Journal may be of interest, one on “Chinese democracy” and one on “Confucianism” and Chinese labor activism.

First, “Discourses on Chinese-Style Democracy in China,” by Ngeow Chow Bing

ABSTRACT
This article reviews a book series on Chinese-style democracy that was published in China in 2010 and represents mainstream Chinese perspectives and discourse on Chinese-style democracy. It begins with a discussion of whether a viable alternative to the liberal democratic model exists, and whether we should seriously consider Chinese-style democracy as one such alternative. The article discusses each of the volumes in this series, evaluates the arguments contained within them, and then reviews another two books in English that critique Chinese-style democracy. Finally, it concludes by arguing that we should take Chinese discourse about Chinese-style democracy seriously, not because we have to agree that it presents a viable alternative, but because it provides a realistic strategy for political progress within China’s political system.

THE REVIEWED BOOKS

  • Gao Jian and Tong Dezhi, eds., Zhongguoshi minzhu (Chinese-Style Democracy), Book Series on Chinese-Style Democracy vol. 1 (Tianjin: Tianjin renmin chubanshe, 2010).
  • Gao Jian and Tong Dezhi, eds., Fazhi minzhu (Constitutional Democracy), Book Series on Chinese-Style Democracy vol. 2 (Tianjin: Tianjin renmin chubanshe, 2010).
  • Gao Jian and Tong Dezhi, eds., Dangnei minzhu (Intra-Party Democracy), Book Series on Chinese-Style Democracy vol. 3 (Tianjin: Tianjin renmin chubanshe, 2010).
  • Gao Jian and Tong Dezhi, eds., Jiceng minzhu (Grassroots Democracy), Book Series on Chinese-Style Democracy vol. 4 (Tianjin: Tianjin renmin chubanshe, 2010).
  • Gao Jian and Tong Dezhi, eds., Xieshang minzhu (Deliberative Democracy), Book Series on Chinese-Style Democracy vol. 5 (Tianjin: Tianjin renmin chubanshe, 2010).
  • Kerry Brown, Ballot Box China: Grassroots Democracy in the Final Major One-Party State (London: Zed Books, 2011).
  • Yuan Zaijun, The Failure of China’s “Democratic” Reforms (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2012).

 

Second, “Confucianism, the Rise of Worker Activism and Labour Law in China,” by Shen Wei and Rohan Price

ABSTRACT
The recent outbreak of strikes at foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) in some Chinese coastal cities brought China and its labour law into the spotlight and raised questions about the future of China’s workforce and labour protection. The core question seems to surround the inherent conflict between, on the one hand, the Party-state’s priority to maintain social stability and “harmony”, and on the other, the growing demands at the grassroots level by China’s workers struggling for better conditions and treatment amid China’s economic growth. This article attempts to take a positive approach in its analysis of the increasing worker activism in China by referring to Confucianism and Chinese labour law.

December 20th, 2014 Posted by | China, Comparative philosophy, Comparative Political Theory, Confucianism, Contemporary Confucianism, Democracy | no comments

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