SPECIAL FEATURE: JOSEPH CHAN'S CONFUCIAN PERFECTIONISM Introduction: Confucian Perfectionism 's Wary Embrace of Democracy Yvonne Chiu Department of Politics and Public Administration, The University of Hong Kong firstname.lastname@example.org With the stunning spread of democracy over large swathes of the globe since 1975 seemingly coming to a halt and perhaps receding in recent years, it is now a fitting time to revisit the question of whether democracy is really compatible with all types of cultures and philosophies, particularly those from Asia, where nearly two-thirds of the world's population lives. Joseph Chan's Confucian Perfectionism: A Political Philosophy for Modern Times (Princeton University Press, 2014) tackles an enormously important project by reconstructing Confucianism in order to meld it with democracy in a mutually advantageous marriage. Among the many reasons that democracy has become popular as a form of governance is that it can address the dangerous problem of the lack of accountability -- the historical record is quite clear about what happens when rulers, even those who are wise and well-meaning, are unconstrained. This, unfortunately, is a problem that Confucianism shares. On the other hand, Confucianism can bring to the table not just virtues in general, but particular virtues that are
Philosophy East and West – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Dec 28, 2017
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