Date: 17 September 2021 (Friday)
Time: 16:00 (HKT)
Venue: Online (This talk will be held via Zoom.)
Participants: Chi Kwok, Lingnan University; Sungmoon Kim, City University of Hong Kong
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Abstract: Despite the burgeoning literature in contemporary Confucian political theory, little effort has been devoted to the exploration of the implications of Confucianism to economic justice. Among the few exceptions, Chan (2013) argues that Confucianism would require a sufficientarian, yet inegalitarian, distributions of economic resources; Kim (2019) suggests that Confucianism could offer an account of the political economy of harmony where distributive values of equality, need, and merit “could have their own place”. Although these are important contributions, these works’ focal point is on developing a general outlook and guiding principles of a Confucian moral economy. This paper argues that the modern relevance of a theory of moral economy depends to a significant degree on whether it could offer an attractive normative account to the legally privileged economic agent, business corporation, which enjoys legal rights such as legal personality, limited liability, asset shielding that are unavailable to other market actors. The paper attempts to build a bridge between contemporary Confucian political theory and political theory of the business corporation for two purposes. First, it offers a better ontological account of the business corporation for Confucian political theory to intervene in debates about the business corporation. Second, it also offers alternative moral resources to develop a political theory of the business corporation beyond the usual liberal democratic framework in the literature.