Meritocracy as a Political System: A Commentary on Bell’s The China Model Binfan Wang Department of Political Science, University of Toronto email@example.com It is my great pleasure to discuss Bell’s latest book on political meritocracy. The China Model has received responses in both political theory and China studies, but unfortunately many of them still misunderstand his work. There- fore, before I articulate my critical comment, it would be helpful to clarify my own understanding of this book. As Bell points out in the preface to the paperback edition and in many responses to his critics, his aim is neither to denigrate democracy in Western countries nor to defend the exact status quo of China. What he tries to do is to introduce political meritocracy as a legitimate political system for selecting leaders. Since China is typical of the kind of country in which political meritocracy is achievable, it is fair to name Bell’s approach “the China model.” Justifying political meritocracy does not aim at replacing democracy in Western countries, given Bell’s emphasis on the balance between democracy and meritocracy in any political system. However, Bell’s work does indeed strongly challenge the positioning of democracy as the only justiﬁable political
Philosophy East and West – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Aug 13, 2019
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