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Confucianism and Democratization in East Asia [Paperback]

Doh Chull Shin

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Book Description

30 Dec 2011
For decades, scholars and politicians have vigorously debated whether Confucianism is compatible with democracy, yet little is known about how it affects the process of democratization in East Asia. In this book, Doh Chull Shin examines the prevalence of core Confucian legacies and their impacts on civic and political orientations in six Confucian countries: China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Analyses of the Asian Barometer and World Values surveys reveal that popular attachment to Confucian legacies has mixed results on democratic demand. While Confucian political legacies encourage demand for a non-liberal democratic government that prioritizes the economic welfare of the community over the freedom of individual citizens, its social legacies promote interpersonal trust and tolerance, which are critical components of democratic civic life. Thus, the author argues that citizens of historically Confucian Asia have an opportunity to combine the best of Confucian ideals and democratic principles in a novel, particularly East Asian brand of democracy.

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'Defenders of Asian values are wrong to claim that democracy and Confucianism are incompatible. Yet modernization theorists are also wrong to think that economic development inevitably leads to widespread support for liberal democracy. Drawing on a wealth of empirical research, Doh Chull Shin shows that the Confucian legacy of paternalistic meritocracy informs a strong popular preference for nonliberal democracy in East Asia. This book will shape the debate on democratization in East Asia for years to come.' Daniel A. Bell, Jiaotong University and Tsinghua University

'To what extent does a distinctive Confucian culture exist - and is it incompatible with democracy? In this thoughtful and well-informed analysis of empirical evidence from many countries, Doh Shin argues convincingly that a distinctive Confucian culture does exist - but that it is not necessarily incongruent with democracy. Most Asians (including most Chinese) have a positive view of democracy, but the Confucian legacy has a strong influence on how people understand it and is likely to influence any type of democracy that emerges.' Ronald F. Inglehart, University of Michigan

Book Description

In this book, Doh Chull Shin examines the prevalence of core Confucian legacies and their impacts on civic and political orientations in six Confucian countries: China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam. Ultimately, the author argues that citizens of historically Confucian Asia have an opportunity to combine the best of Confucian ideals and democratic principles in a novel, particularly East Asian brand of democracy.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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