As China continues to transform itself, many assume that the nation will eventually move beyond communism and adopt a Western-style democracy. But could China develop a unique form of government based on its own distinct traditions? Jiang Qing--China's most original, provocative, and controversial Confucian political thinker--says yes. In this book, he sets out a vision for a Confucian constitutional order that offers a compelling alternative to both the status quo in China and to a Western-style liberal democracy. A Confucian Constitutional Order is the most detailed and systematic work on Confucian constitutionalism to date. Jiang argues against the democratic view that the consent of the people is the main source of political legitimacy. Instead, he presents a comprehensive way to achieve humane authority based on three sources of political legitimacy, and he derives and defends a proposal for a tricameral legislature that would best represent the Confucian political ideal. He also puts forward proposals for an institution that would curb the power of parliamentarians and for a symbolic monarch who would embody the historical and transgenerational identity of the state.
In the latter section of the book, four leading liberal and socialist Chinese critics--Joseph Chan, Chenyang Li, Wang Shaoguang, and Bai Tongdong--critically evaluate Jiang's theories and Jiang gives detailed responses to their views. A Confucian Constitutional Order provides a new standard for evaluating political progress in China and enriches the dialogue of possibilities available to this rapidly evolving nation. This book will fascinate students and scholars of Chinese politics, and is essential reading for anyone concerned about China's political future.
Jiang Qing is the founder and director of the Yangming Confucian Academy in Guizhou, China. His books include Political Confucianism and Life, Faith, and Humane Politics.
Acknowledgments vii Introduction 1 Daniel A. Bell Part I: A Confucian Constitutional Order * The Way of the Humane Authority: The Theoretical Basis for Confucian Constitutionalism and a Tricameral Parliament 27 Jiang Qing * The Supervisory System of Confucian Constitutionalism: Reflections on the Supervision of the State by the Academy 44 Jiang Qing * A Confucian Constitutionalist State: The Constitutional Role and Contemporary Significance of Republicanism under a Symbolic Monarch 71 Jiang Qing Part II: Comments * On the Legitimacy of Confucian Constitutionalism 99 Joseph Chan * An Old Mandate for a New State: On Jiang Qing's Political Confucianism 113 Bai Tongdong * Transcendent Heaven? A Critique of Jiang Qing's Grounding of the Right to Rule 129 Chenyang Li * Is the Way of the Humane Authority a Good Thing? An Assessment of Confucian Constitutionalism 139 Wang Shaoguang Part III: Response to the Commentators * Debating with My Critics 161 Jiang Qing Notes 209 Bibliography 241 Contributors 249 Index 251
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