Politics of Revival of Confucianism

An interesting article examining the CCP’s motives for promoting Confucianism has been published: Shufang Wu, “The Revival of Confucianism and the CCP’s Struggle for Cultural Leadership: a content analysis of the People’s Daily, 2000–2009,” Journal of Contemporary China 23:89 (2014), pp. 971-991. Abstract follows, with the key line in bold.


The revival of Confucianism in the first decade of the twenty-first century is a political phenomenon that cannot be ignored with regard to its social influence and the particular meaning it has brought to China. However, so far, there has not been much academic research into the political reasons for this revival at a deeper level. Based on the 228 articles published in the People’s Daily in the years between 2000 and 2009, a content analysis is conducted on how Confucianism was represented in this authoritative official medium. The examination of the role that Confucianism plays in the construction of the socialist ‘advanced culture’ provides a clear lens to observe the role of Confucianism in the Chinese political ideology, which is still rooted and based on Marxism–Leninism. This research is aimed at clarifying how Confucianism was pragmatically promoted by the government of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with the purpose of securing its cultural leadership. This state-led promotion reveals the vulnerability of the political status of Confucianism in contemporary China and its unsecured future.



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