Relation Between Confucianism and Democracy

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Over years of debate, Confucianism has long been seen as a conflicting force of democracy, particularly among political scientists who are pro-liberal democracy. This thought has been backed up by the trend of communism or competitive authoritarianism in Asia that liberal democracy seems not to be flourishing in this region due to the strong influence of Confucianism. However, this conventional perception starts to get more challenges from Asian scholars, particularly those emphasizing Confucian perfectionism, that Confucianism instead strengthen democracy, rather than acting as a stumbling stock. In the following, the definition of democracy and the conventional critics against Confucianism in the notion of democracy will be covered, followed by the further elaboration of the complementary relationship between Confucianism and democracy.

Confucianism: Complement to democracy
From the above discussion, first and foremost, definition of democracy matters. Due to the injection of liberal values into the democracy, it limits the scope and possibility of these two seemingly contrasting ideals being compatible with each other. Dworkin (2002) believed Confucianism blocked the nurture of universal human nature in which people are treated with equal concern and respect. However, it is advised to take a pause and look back to what kind of democracy Dworkin is referring to. As argued, Dworkin held on the substantive concept of democracy which is intrinsically valuable in promotion of individual liberties and equality. Yet, Chan (2013) rebutted that if democracy is limited by the liberal values, Confucianism would not be on any ground compatible with democracy since it is not embedded with any liberal accounts like individuali...

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