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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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On the Legitimacy of Confucian Constitutionalism

On the Legitimacy of Confucian Constitutionalism

(p.99) Chapter 4 On the Legitimacy of Confucian Constitutionalism
A Confucian Constitutional Order

Joseph Chan

Princeton University Press

This chapter asserts the idea that Confucianism can positively shape political institutions, legislation, and policy making. However, it argues that promoting Confucianism as a comprehensive doctrine in a modern pluralistic society will damage civility. Free and equal citizens live according to various ways of life and hold different religious beliefs, and promoting Confucian values over and instead of other beliefs can lead only to social conflict. Instead, the chapter favors a moderate form of perfectionism that allows the state to promote specific values in a piecemeal way. Within this context, it may be possible to promote particular Confucian values in a way that they can be accepted or understood by citizens without adopting Confucianism as a comprehensive doctrine.

Keywords:   Confucianism, political institutions, legislation, policy making, pluralistic society, civility, social conflict

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