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Confucianism with a Liberal Face: The Meaning of Democratic Politics in Postcolonial Taiwan

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 August 2009

Extract

Neither cultural conversion to Western liberalism nor resort to local traditions such as Confucianism adequately deals with the hybrid nature of democratization in a postcolonial context. With its assortment of Chinese, Japanese, American, and Taiwanese hegemonic legacies, Taiwan offers a case in point. Its version of democratic politics operates across three contending normative domains: liberal political institutions, Confucian rationales for power, and Taiwanese nativist/nationalist sensibilities. Some may despair at this “distortion” of the (Western) liberal democratic ideal. We suggest, alternatively, that the contentious and unstable nature of liberal politics in Taiwan may render its polity more open-ended and organic, with simultaneous potential for both authoritarianism and democratization.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © University of Notre Dame 1998

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