Confucianism in Contemporary Chinese Politics: An Actionable Account of Authoritarian Political Culture (Challenges Facing Chinese Political Development)
This book examines the ways in which Confucian political culture operates in contemporary Chinese politics and influences its development. The author argues that the authoritarian political culture performs functions similar to the democratic political culture, drawing on a wide range of data—surveys, interviews, archives, Public Hearing Meeting records, and the Party Congress Reports of the Chinese Communist Party—to substantiate and illustrate these arguments. In an authoritarian political system, the “legitimating values” of the authoritarian political culture persuade the public of their government’s legitimacy and the “engaging values” equip individuals with a set of cultural dispositions, resources, and skills to acquire political resources and services from the state. In the context of Chinese politics, personal connections infused with affection and trust—the Social Capital in the Confucian culture—facilitate political engagement. Despite the country’s continuous advocacy for the “rule of law,” state and public perceptions of legal professionals and legal practices, such as mediation and lawyer-judge relations, are fundamentally moralized. A new “people ideology,” which originated in the Confucian political culture, has been re-appropriated to legitimate the Party’s hegemonic governing position and policies.