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A Confucian Constitutional OrderHow China's Ancient Past Can Shape Its Political Future$
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Jiang Qing, Daniel A. Bell, and Ruiping Fan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154602

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154602.001.0001

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The Supervisory System of Confucian Constitutionalism

The Supervisory System of Confucian Constitutionalism

Reflections on the Supervision of the State by the Academy

(p.44) Chapter 2 The Supervisory System of Confucian Constitutionalism
A Confucian Constitutional Order

Jiang Qing

Princeton University Press

This chapter proposes another institution—the Academy—that is meant to further restrain the power of parliamentarians. In Western constitutionalism, power is limited by means of rights. In Confucian constitutionalism, power is limited primarily by means of morality. The chapter explicitly invokes the seventeenth-century Confucian scholar Huang Zongxi's proposal for an Academy composed of scholar-officials who could question the emperor and appraise and adjudicate the rights and wrongs of his policies. It is careful to note that the Academy supervises, but does not run the state. Subordinate bodies exercise their own authority according to the principle of balance of powers and independence. The Academy does not interfere in these operations and hence its maintenance of religion and morality is different from that of a Taliban-style theocracy.

Keywords:   Academy, parliamentarians, Western constitutionalism, Confucian constitutionalism, scholar-officials, Huang Zongxi, morality, Taliban-style theocracy

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