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    For many contemporary Confucians today, an urgent task is to reflect on the challenges of modernity and look for what Mou Zongsan calls a "New Outer Kinghood."1 In the political realm, this task implies identifying ways in which Confucianism can meet the challenges of, and potentially reconcile itself with, liberal and democratic values. One of the most contested terrains that emerged out of the recent debate is the relationship between Confucianism and democracy. Theorists not only differ in th…Read more
  •  6
    Classic Confucian Thought and Political Meritocracy: A Text-based Critique
    Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 20 (3): 433-458. 2021.
    Recent debates on Confucian meritocracy largely center around outright normative critiques rather than its textual basis. The unflattering upshot is the lack of attention to a mode of critique that scrutinizes Confucian meritocracy by questioning the way meritocrats invoke Confucian concepts and values. Focusing on three meritocrats—Bai Tongdong 白彤東, Daniel A. Bell, and Kang Xiaoguang 康曉光, this article ventures a text-based normative approach by examining continuities and ruptures between core m…Read more
  •  5
    Confucian Leadership Democracy: A Roadmap
    Comparative Philosophy 12 (2). 2021.
    What kind of polity is justified by classic Confucian values? Adopting an interpretive approach, this paper explores the idea of leadership democracy being expressive of classic Confucian values by first introducing the models of leadership democracy associated with Weber and Schumpeter and second connecting Confucian elitist values to them. I argue that leadership democracy best realizes the Confucian emphasis on the people as the source of legitimacy and the ruler as the engine of good governa…Read more
  •  5
    Tongdong Bai’s ambitious book, Against Political Equality: The Confucian Case, aims to not only draw on classic Confucianism to shed light on contemporary issues but also make Confucianism universally applicable to the human conditions widely shared around the globe. Bai’s Confucian political theory carries distinctive merits in both its innovative approach and comprehensive scope, but there are still ambiguities of which he owes us more explanation. In this review article, I offer a brief summa…Read more