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Beyond Liberal Democracy:
Political Thinking for an East Asian Context
Daniel A. Bell

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [HTML] or [PDF format]


"This book is a lively and insightful contribution to what will be a major debate of the twenty-first century: how profound differences of culture and value will give a different shape to the core institutions of modernity in different civilizations. Drawing on both philosophical analysis and wide empirical knowledge, Daniel Bell examines the continuing importance of Confucianism in East Asia, and its relevance for democracy, human rights, and capitalism. What's more, as a normative theorist, he goes beyond this to argue for the legitimacy of some persistent differences. This engaging and well-written book will provoke much-needed controversy in our overly complacent Western societies."--Charles Taylor, author of Multiculturalism and Sources of the Self

"Daniel Bell's Beyond Liberal Democracy challenges the prevailing idea in Western liberal political theory that liberal democracy is a universal value. By comparing East Asian and Western perspectives on issues such as human rights, democracy, and capitalism, Bell forcefully demonstrates that East Asian political traditions contain morally legitimate alternatives to Western-style liberal democracy. He demonstrates a rare knowledge of both Western and Eastern political philosophies. Bell's work will help Western political scientists understand the contribution of East Asian cultures to political theory. But equally it will help East Asian scholars understand their own political tradition through a comparative perspective."--Li Qiang, Peking University

"For over a decade, Daniel Bell has been probing the meaning and feasibility of 'democracy,' 'human rights,' and 'capitalism' in an East Asian setting. Beyond Liberal Democracy pulls many of these strands together in a stimulating, readable, and often humorous fashion. This book is a must for anyone involved with or concerned about China and the other important countries marked by Confucian political-legal culture. It's a friendly, engaging conversation."--Jerome A. Cohen, New York University and the Council on Foreign Relations

"For the past decade or so Daniel Bell has been a leading voice in the international discourse on democracy and human rights in the East Asian context, with his distinctive blend of intellectual inclusiveness, principled realism, and a sure-footed local knowledge that is at once respectful and frankly critical. In this thought-provoking new book, he carries further his culturally sensitive approach to political theorizing, an approach that allows him to move fruitfully between abstract normative reasoning and highly concrete discussion of issues of rights, political participation, and good governance. Those readers who are familiar with Bell's previous work will find here a yet deeper mining of East Asian philosophical resources--especially though not exclusively the Confucian tradition--for normatively attractive proposals that are realistic in and sensitive to contemporary local contexts, as well as an even more wide-ranging engagement with the complex East Asian realities of human rights, democracy, and economic development."--Ci Jiwei, University of Hong Kong

"Daniel Bell is one of the world's very few political theorists with the necessary competence to write on the subject addressed in Beyond Liberal Democracy. His writing style is very stimulating, clear, and accessible; his arguments are carefully constructed, thought-provoking, and original. This book will appeal not only to scholars in political theory and political philosophy, political science, human rights, and Asian studies, but also to general readers."--Joseph Chan, The University of Hong Kong

"Well written, interesting, and sometimes provocative, Beyond Liberal Democracy splendidly complements Bell's earlier work on democracy in an East Asian context. Anyone interested in an 'Asian values' debate would do well to look first to what Bell has to say. This book's reach is even broader, however, since it also offers many new insights into the assumptions of liberal democracy."--Jeff Spinner-Halev, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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File created: 4/21/2017

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