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Beyond liberal democracy : political thinking for an East Asian context / Daniel A. Bell

Main Author Bell, Daniel Country Estados Unidos. Publication Princeton : Princeton University Press, cop. 2006 Description XII, 379 p. ; 24 cm ISBN 0-691-12308-X
CDU 321.7(5) 342.7(5)
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Monografia Biblioteca Fernão Mendes Pinto
BFMP 321.7(5) - B Não requisitável | Not for loan 370511
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Is liberal democracy appropriate for East Asia? In this provocative book, Daniel Bell argues for morally legitimate alternatives to Western-style liberal democracy in the region. Beyond Liberal Democracy , which continues the author's influential earlier work, is divided into three parts that correspond to the three main hallmarks of liberal democracy--human rights, democracy, and capitalism. These features have been modified substantially during their transmission to East Asian societies that have been shaped by nonliberal practices and values. Bell points to the dangers of implementing Western-style models and proposes alternative justifications and practices that may be more appropriate for East Asian societies.

If human rights, democracy, and capitalism are to take root and produce beneficial outcomes in East Asia, Bell argues, they must be adjusted to contemporary East Asian political and economic realities and to the values of nonliberal East Asian political traditions such as Confucianism and Legalism. Local knowledge is therefore essential for realistic and morally informed contributions to debates on political reform in the region, as well as for mutual learning and enrichment of political theories.

Beyond Liberal Democracy is indispensable reading for students and scholars of political theory, Asian studies, and human rights, as well as anyone concerned about China's political and economic future and how Western governments and organizations should engage with China.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Acknowledgments (p. xi)
  • Chapter 1 Introduction: One Size Doesn't Fit All (p. 1)
  • The Uniquely Parochial Development of Liberal Democracy (p. 4)
  • Human Rights for an East Asian Context (p. 9)
  • Democracy for an East Asian Context (p. 11)
  • Capitalism for an East Asian Context (p. 14)
  • A Note on the Culturally Sensitive Approach to Political Theorizing (p. 17)
  • Part 1 Human Rights for an East Asian Context
  • Chapter 2 Just War and Confucianism: Implications for the Contemporary World (p. 23)
  • The Ideal World versus the Nonideal World (p. 24)
  • General Confucian Principles of Good Government (p. 31)
  • Mencius on Just and Unjust War (p. 35)
  • Implications for Contemporary Societies (p. 40)
  • Chapter 3 Human Rights and "Values in Asia": Reflections on East-West Dialogues (p. 52)
  • Trade-offs and Priorities (p. 55)
  • Asian Justifications for Human Rights (p. 62)
  • Values in Asia versus Western Liberalism: Justifiable Moral Differences? (p. 72)
  • Cross-Cultural Dialogues on Human Rights: What Is the Point? (p. 78)
  • Chapter 4 The Ethical Challenges of International Human Rights NGOs: Reflections on Dialogues between Practitioners and Theorists (p. 84)
  • The Challenge of Cultural Conflict (p. 87)
  • The Challenge of Dealing with Global Poverty (p. 92)
  • The Challenge of Dealing with States That Restrict the Activities of INGOs (p. 103)
  • The Challenge of Fund-Raising (p. 107)
  • Implications for INGOs in East Asia (p. 111)
  • Part 2 Democracy for an East Asian Context
  • Chapter 5 What's Wrong with Active Citizenship?
  • A Comparison of Physical Education in Ancient Greece and Ancient China (p. 121)
  • Two Ancient Civilizations (p. 123)
  • Why Compare State-Sponsored Physical Education in the Two Ancient Civilizations? (p. 132)
  • Political Competition and Sports Competition (p. 134)
  • Commercial Societies, Leisure Time, and the Pursuit of Physical Excellence (p. 143)
  • Implications for Contemporary East Asian Societies (p. 146)
  • Chapter 6 Taking Elitism Seriously: Democracy with Confucian Characteristics (p. 152)
  • Political Elitism and Democracy: Two Important Values (p. 153)
  • Institutionalizing Confucian Democracy (p. 162)
  • Chapter 7 Is Democracy the "Least Bad" System for Minority Groups? (p. 180)
  • Some Definitions (p. 185)
  • Democracy and Nation Building (p. 190)
  • Implications for Outside Prodemocracy Forces (p. 202)
  • Chapter 8 Democratic Education in a Multicultural Context: Lessons from Singapore (p. 206)
  • Singapore's Political History (p. 207)
  • Racism in the Classroom? (p. 211)
  • Inclusive Multiculturalism (p. 215)
  • Beyond Singapore? (p. 218)
  • Part 3 Capitalism for an East Asian Context
  • Chapter 9 Culture and Egalitarian Development: Confucian Constraints on Property Rights (p. 231)
  • On the Selection of Feasible and Desirable Confucian Values for Modern Societies (p. 234)
  • The Overriding Value of Material Welfare (p. 237)
  • The Value of Care for Needy Family Members (p. 243)
  • Exporting Confucianism? (p. 251)
  • Chapter 10 East Asian Capitalism for an Age of Globalization (p. 255)
  • East Asian Capitalism and Economic Productivity (p. 259)
  • East Asian Capitalism and Social Welfare (p. 271)
  • Implications for Public Policy (p. 278)
  • Chapter 11 Justice for Migrant Workers? The Case of Migrant Domestic Workers in East Asia (p. 281)
  • The Political Concerns of Foreign Domestic Workers in Hong Kong and Singapore (p. 283)
  • Should Foreign Domestic Workers Be Given Equal Rights? (p. 290)
  • The Role of Culture (p. 305)
  • Migrant Domestic Workers in Mainland China (p. 313)
  • Chapter 12 Responses to Critics: The Real and the Ideal (p. 323)
  • Selected Bibliography (p. 343)
  • Index (p. 369)

Reviews provided by Syndetics


In this engaging, provocative exploration of the intersection between East Asian values and Western liberalism, Bell (Tsinghua Univ., China) challenges readers to take seriously the unique contributions of Confucianism and other Eastern traditions to 21st-century political theory and practice. At once both sensitive and critical, Bell combines philosophical analysis with empirical knowledge to argue that East Asia can provide normatively compelling political values and practices from outside the liberal tradition. After confronting the common notion that one liberalism fits all, Bell explores the themes of human rights, democracy, and capitalism for East Asia. He begins each topic with an introduction to the East-West debate that is both accessible to laypersons and informative for experts, saturating his arguments with widely ranging examples and local knowledge that bring his proposals to life in ways all too rare in political theory. The author finishes with an intellectually honest response to his critics that is refreshingly personal. This book is an important contribution to the East-West dialogues of political theorists, activists, and politicians, and sets a high standard for subsequent forays into this field. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through practitioners. R. Parrish West Texas A&M University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Daniel Bell, an American sociologist and journalist, studied at City College of New York and Columbia University. As a journalist he was an editor of Fortune magazine and later served on several presidential committees. His work as chairman of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences' Commission on the Year 2000 led to the publication of a collection of futuristic essays and discussions by some of the finest minds of the century. His teaching career included posts at Chicago, Columbia, and Harvard universities.

In Bell's best-known book, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society (1976), he analyzed the emerging role of information technology in the West. He was among the first scholars to realize that the production of information and knowledge would eclipse manufacturing in the developed world. Bell will be most remembered for his groundbreaking work in social change. He contended that new theories and models of decision making had to be devised to address the issues presented by an information-based society.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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