Democracy after virtue: Toward pragmatic confucian democracy

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35 Citations (Scopus)


In the past two decades contemporary Confucian political theory has been propelled by the dialectical conversation between Confucianism and democracy and, more recently, between Confucian democracy and Confucian meritocracy. However, the absence of a shared point of reference in developing Confucian democratic theory has made it extremely difficult to understand whether the disagreement between Confucian democrats and Confucian meritocrats is merely a political one or is also of philosophical significance. Democracy after Virtue explores a normative Confucian democratic theory that justifies democracy on pragmatic grounds, both as a political system and as a way of life in East Asia, with special attention to Confucianism, a dominant cultural tradition in the region, as well as to the value pluralism and moral conflict that increasingly characterize the circumstances of East Asian politics. It presents “pragmatic Confucian democracy” as a fresh normative framework that can help (1) identify the social circumstances that require a democracy as a political system in a Confucian society, (2) explain the internal connection between two dimensions of democracy that are commonly presented in political science as being at odds with each other, (3) make sense of the value of democracy coherently with reference to its two dimensions, (4) illuminate the theoretical connection between democratic procedures and the outcomes they produce, and (5) articulate distinctively Confucian democratic principles of justice in criminal punishment, economic distribution, and international relations (humanitarian intervention in particular) from a pragmatic standpoint.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages256
ISBN (Electronic)9780190671235
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press 2018. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)


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