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The China ModelPolitical Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy$
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Daniel A. Bell

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691173047

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691173047.001.0001

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On the Selection of Good Leaders in a Political Meritocracy

On the Selection of Good Leaders in a Political Meritocracy

(p.63) Chapter 2 On the Selection of Good Leaders in a Political Meritocracy
The China Model

Daniel A. Bell

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines which abilities and virtues should set the standard for the selection and promotion of public officials/servants so that China's political system can be improved. The discussion draws on the following assumptions: it is good for a political community to be governed by high-quality rulers; China's one (ruling) party political system is not about to collapse; the meritocratic aspect of the system is partly good; and it can be improved. The chapter then offers suggestions about which qualities matter most for political leaders in the context of large, peaceful, and modernizing (nondemocratic) meritocratic states, followed by suggestions about mechanisms that increase the likelihood of selecting leaders with such qualities. The findings reveal which abilities, social skills, and virtues matter most for political leaders in the context of a large, peaceful, and modernizing political meritocracy. These findings are used as a standard for evaluating the Chinese meritocratic system.

Keywords:   virtue, public officials, public servants, China, political system, political leaders, social skills, political meritocracy

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