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The East Asian Challenge for Democracy
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  • Cited by 11
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    This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Metz, Thaddeus 2014. Harmonizing global ethics in the future: a proposal to add south and east to west. Journal of Global Ethics, Vol. 10, Issue. 2, p. 146.

    On, Steve and Shih, Chih-yu 2014. Introduction toAsian Ethnicity’s special issue on ethnicities, governance, and human rights. Asian Ethnicity, Vol. 15, Issue. 2, p. 148.

    von Vacano, Diego 2015. The Scope of Comparative Political Theory. Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 18, Issue. 1, p. 465.

    Metz, Thaddeus 2016. Confucian Harmony from an African Perspective. African and Asian Studies, Vol. 15, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    Elstein, David 2016. The Future of Confucian Politics in East Asia. Dao, Vol. 15, Issue. 3, p. 437.

    Taşgetiren, Ömer 2017. Liberal Nötrlük Mümkün mü, Gerekli mi?. Divan: Disiplinlerarası Çalışmalar Dergisi,

    Shin, Doh Chull and Kim, Hannah June 2017. Liberal democracy as the end of history. Asian Journal of Comparative Politics, Vol. 2, Issue. 2, p. 133.

    Bell, Daniel A. 2017. Comparing Political Values in China and the West: What Can Be Learned and Why It Matters. Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 20, Issue. 1, p. 93.

    Metz, Thaddeus 2018. Ends and means of transitional justice. Journal of Global Ethics, Vol. 14, Issue. 2, p. 159.

    Lim, Leonel and Apple, Michael W. 2018. The politics of curriculum reforms in Asia: Inter-referencing discourses of power, culture and knowledge. Curriculum Inquiry, Vol. 48, Issue. 2, p. 139.

    Jiang, Yi-Huah 2018. Confucian Political Theory in Contemporary China. Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 21, Issue. 1, p. 155.

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Book description

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)? 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.


‘In theory, democracy works beautifully. In practice, it does not. Indeed, the American democratic system has effectively been hijacked by special interests through a process best described as institutionalized legal corruption. Clearly the world needs new political thinking, bringing together the best of the East and the West. This is what this volume does, reminding us that political wisdom springs from all corners of the world. It could not be more timely. A must-read.’

Kishore Mahbubani - Dean, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, and author of The Great Convergence: Asia, the West, and the Logic of One World

‘Drawing on Eastern and Western theories, histories, and contemporary experiences, The East Asian Challenge for Democracy is a searching, provocative, and above all open-minded exploration of meritocracy. By highlighting both strengths and weaknesses of meritocracy, this wide-ranging but well-integrated volume challenges everyone - from doctrinaire democrats to rigid meritocrats - to enter into a renewed conversation about political possibilities.’

Stephen Angle - Wesleyan University

‘In this volume, Bell and Li have made tremendous efforts in bringing together more than a dozen … known experts, exploring rich traditions and contemporary practices of meritocracy in East Asia, particularly China and Singapore. All who are interested in the future of China and other parts of East Asia should read this excellent book.’

Zheng Yongnian - National University of Singapore

‘The present volume invokes the Chinese tradition of ‘meritocracy’, focused on virtuous public leadership, assessing its value and contemporary feasibility from a great many angles. The scope and intellectual rigor of these assessments is unparalleled in the literature. The central problem faced by all contributors is implicit in the term ‘meritocracy’ itself: how can ‘merit’ or virtue be combined with political power (‘-cracy’), given Lord Action's famous saying that all power inevitably corrupts?’

Fred Dallmayr - author of In Search of The Good Life and The Promise of Democracy

'Bell and Li posit a provocative thesis that East Asian political meritocracy poses a deeper challenge to liberal democracy than most in the West suspect. … Bell and Li, together and separately, have done much to reinvigorate both the scholarly discussion and public dialogue regarding the virtues of political meritocracy. Their book is an excellent compendium for both scholars and students interested in the impact that modern political Confucianism and political meritocracy play in China, Singapore, East and South Asian societies, as well as the implications of political meritocracy’s potential influence on liberal democracy and democratic theory.'

Jon R. Taylor Source: Journal of Chinese Political Science

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