The Humanities Symposium was held by Journal of Literature, History and Philosophy from April 14 to 17 in Jinan. The topic, “The Possibility and Limits of Political Meritocracy: a Dialogue between Confucianism and Liberalism” was discussed. “China’s Top 10 Developments of 2016 for Humanities” was introduced during the conference.
Daniel A. Bell, dean of the School of Political Science and Public Administration at Shandong University in Qingdao, delivered a presentation on “Political Meritocracy: Why Is It Better than Electoral Democracy for China”. He argued that a Chinese-style political meritocracy is an ideal choice for China through a wide range of perspectives, including “the national scale”,“the historical context of the nation”, “China has established an effective institution of electing and promoting officials over the past three decades”, “the ‘one person, one vote’ way of choosing top leaders may stifle the advantages of political meritocracy”, and “political meritocracy can better adjust to a fast changing society than an unchanging social institution.”
Prof. Gao Quanxi from KoGuan Law School of Shanghai Jiaotong University, Prof. Fang Zhaohui from the Department of History, Tsinghua University, Prof. Ren Jiantao from the Department of Political Science and Prof. Huang Yushun from the Advanced Institute of Confucian Studies, Shandong University presented their ideas. During the discussion, scholars shared their views on a number of issues like the debate between Confucianism and law, the power and governance, a relative harmonious society by the people and by the law, the religious perspective of the political responsibility, a Confucian view of power, the avocation from Confucianism of learning from the noble people, the possibility of local noble people in modern times, humanity and institution, the political meritocracy and individual autonomy.
During the forum, "China’s Top 10 Developments of 2016 for Humanities" was released. The philosophy and social science work forum was held. Localization has become the mainstream of humanistic research. With Daniel A. Bell’s The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy published, the political governance of the Chinese model is hotly discussed. This is directly related to the forum theme. It is understood that at least half of the developments verifies that "academic climate is undergoing major changes".
Twenty-five experts and scholars from all over the country who have long been concerned with the relationship between Confucianism and liberalism attended the forum. At the same time, media outlets such as China Reading Weekly, China University Academic Anstracts, Reading and The Paper News.
This forum was the second high-level dialogue between Confucianism and liberalism held by the editorial board of the Journal of Literature, History and Philosophy since 2015. When it refers to the question “how to treat Confucianism’s continuous popularity”, Professor Wang Xueding, executive vice dean of the Advanced Institute of Confucius Studies and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Literature, History and Philosophy, repeatedly pointed out that to become one of the leading values of the 21st century and gain permanent vitality, Confucianism must create a more healthy and humanistic life style that integrates equal pursuit and is higher than liberalism based on its own basic principles. In other words, a scientific realization of its core values must be found in the process of dialogue between Confucianism with liberalism.
Translated by Sevana Chan, Song Yijun
Photo by Zou Xiaodong
Edited by Hammer Benjamin, Xie Tingting