Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press
The East Asian Challenge for Democracy: Political Meritocracy in Comparative Perspective

The East Asian Challenge for Democracy: Political Meritocracy in Comparative Perspective

by Daniel A. Bell, Chenyang Li


Current price is , Original price is $41.99. You

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Please check back later for updated availability.


The rise of China, along with problems of governance in democratic countries, has reinvigorated the theory of political meritocracy. But what is the theory of political meritocracy and how can it set standards for evaluating political progress (and regress)? Can meritocracy be reconciled with democracy and if so, how? What is the history of political meritocracy and what can it teach us today? How is political meritocracy practiced in contemporary societies - in China, Singapore, and elsewhere - and what are its advantages and disadvantages in terms of producing just outcomes and contributing to good governance? To help answer these questions, this volume gathers a series of commissioned research papers from an interdisciplinary group of leading philosophers, historians, and social scientists. The result is the first book in decades to examine the rise (or revival) of political meritocracy and what it will mean for political developments in China and the rest of the world. Despite its limitations, meritocracy has contributed much to human flourishing in East Asia and beyond and will continue to do so in the future. This book is essential reading for those who wish to further the debate and perhaps even help to implement desirable forms of political change.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107623774
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 08/12/2013
Pages: 412
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.91(d)

About the Author

Daniel A. Bell is Zhiyuan Chair Professor of the Arts and Humanities at Jiaotong University (Shanghai) and Professor of Ethics and Political Philosophy and Director of the Center for International and Comparative Political Philosophy at Tsinghua University (Beijing). His recent books include China's New Confucianism (revised edition, 2010); the co-edited books A Confucian Constitutional Order (2013) and Ancient Chinese Thought, Modern Chinese Power (2011); and the co-authored book The Spirit of Cities (2011). He has co-edited three previous books with Cambridge University Press. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, the Financial Times and to Chinese language publications. His writings have been translated into twenty-two languages.

Chenyang Li is Associate Professor and Founding Director of the philosophy program at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Previously, he served as Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Central Washington University, where he received the Distinguished Research Professor Award, the Outstanding Department Chair Award, and the Keys to Success Award (Student Service). He was a 2008-2009 American Council on Education Fellow. His research interests include Chinese philosophy, comparative philosophy and value theory. Among his publications are The Confucian Philosophy of Harmony (2013), The Tao Encounters the West: Explorations in Comparative Philosophy (1999), and The Sage and the Second Sex: Confucianism, Ethics, and Gender (editor, 2000), and more than eighty journal articles and book chapters.

Table of Contents

Part I. The Theory of Political Meritocracy: 1. Political meritocracy and meritorious rule: a Confucian perspective Joseph Chan; 2. A Confucian version of hybrid regime: how does it work and why is it superior? Tongdong Bai; 3. Confucian meritocracy for contemporary China Ruiping Fan; 4. The liberal critique of democracy John Skorupski; 5. Meritocratic representation Philip Pettit; Part II. The History of Political Meritocracy: 6. Between merit and pedigree: evolution of the concept of 'elevating the worthy' in pre-imperial China Yuri Pines; 7. A society in motion: unexpected consequences of political meritocracy in late imperial China, 1400-1900 Benjamin Elman; 8. Meritocratic democracy: learning from the American Constitution Stephen Macedo; Part III. Realizing Political Meritocracy Today: 9. How East Asians view meritocracy: a Confucian perspective Doh Chull Shin; 10. Political meritocracy in Singapore: lessons from the PAP government Benjamin Wong; 11. Meritocracy and political liberalization in Singapore Kenneth Paul Tan; 12. China's meritocratic examinations and the ideal of virtuous talents Hong Xiao and Chenyang Li; 13. Reflections on political meritocracy: its manipulation and transformation Philippe C. Schmitter; 14. Political meritocracy and direct democracy: a hybrid experiment in California Nicolas Berggruen and Nathan Gardels.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews