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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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Three Models of Democratic Meritocracy

Three Models of Democratic Meritocracy

(p.151) Chapter 4 Three Models of Democratic Meritocracy
The China Model

Daniel A. Bell

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses three models of “democratic meritocracy,” along with their pros and cons: a model that combines democracy and meritocracy at the level of the voter; a horizontal model that combines democracy and meritocracy at the level of central political institutions; and a vertical model with political meritocracy at the level of the central government and democracy at the local level. It argues that the third model is the best of the three and goes on to consider John Stuart Mill's proposal for a plural voting scheme, Jiang Qing's proposal for a tricameral legislature, and Chinese Minister Li Yuanchao's views on the meritocratic nature of selection at higher levels of government in China. Finally, it examines the implications of referendum for electoral democracy by citing the case of Chile in the second half of the twentieth century.

Keywords:   democratic meritocracy, democracy, political meritocracy, John Stuart Mill, plural voting, Jiang Qing, tricameral legislature, Li Yuanchao, referendum, electoral democracy

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