Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
2015.02.31 View this Review Online View Other NDPR Reviews
Sungmoon Kim, Confucian Democracy in East Asia: Theory and Practice, Cambridge University Press, 2014, 321pp., $29.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781107641211.
Reviewed by Loubna El Amine, Georgetown University
Sungmoon Kim’s book offers an important and passionate defense of democracy, especially as it applies to East Asian countries. It moves the current debate on the topic from the question of whether democracy is relevant to, and compatible with, the East Asian context, to the question of “the particular mode of Confucian democracy” that is suitable for East Asia (247). In other words, the starting premise of Kim’s inquiry is the simple fact that democracy does already exist in that part of the world, including in South Korea, Taiwan, and (“arguably,” according to Kim), in Hong Kong (247). The question then is, what form of democracy does, will, and should work in East Asia?
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