Warp, Weft, and Way

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

Tongdong Bai’s Book Symposium on Against Political Equality—The Confucian Case


City University of Hong Kong is presenting an online book symposium on Tong Dongbai’s Against Political Equality: The Case of Confucianism:

Date: October 23, 2020 (Friday)
Time: 9:00am-12:00pm (HKT)
Venue: Online (The panel will be held in Zoom)

Tongdong Bai, Fudan University
Sungmoon Kim, City University of Hong Kong
Alan Patten, Princeton University
Russell A. Fox, Friends University
Hui-chieh Loy, National University of Singapore

Registration is required to attend this event.  To register, please email Mr. David Chung: kinchung@cityu.edu.hk.

The following is an abstract of Tong Dongbai’s book:

What might a viable political alternative to liberal democracy look like? In Against Political Equality, Tongdong Bai offers a possibility inspired by Confucian ideas.  Bai argues that domestic governance influenced by Confucianism can embrace the liberal aspects of democracy along with the democratic ideas of equal opportunities and governmental accountability to the people. But Confucianism would give more political decision-making power to those with the moral, practical, and intellectual capabilities of caring for the people. While most democratic thinkers still focus on strengthening equality to cure the ills of democracy, the proposed hybrid regime—made up of Confucian-inspired meritocratic characteristics combined with democratic elements and a quasi-liberal system of laws and rights—recognizes that egalitarian qualities sometimes conflict with good governance and the protection of liberties, and defends liberal aspects by restricting democratic ones. Bai applies his views to the international realm by supporting a hierarchical order based on how humane each state is toward its own and other peoples, and on the principle of international interventions whereby humane responsibilities override sovereignty.


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