The East Asian Challenge for Democracy: Political Meritocracy in Comparative Perspective

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9781107623774: The East Asian Challenge for Democracy: Political Meritocracy in Comparative Perspective

This volume gathers a series of commissioned research papers from an interdisciplinary group of leading philosophers, historians, and social scientists 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.

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'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

Vom Verlag:

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.

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