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Since the horrific Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, the debate on human rights in China has raged on with increasing volume and shifting context, but little real progress. In this text, William de Bary seeks to move beyond the political shouting match, informing and contextualizing the debate from a Confucian and a historical perspective. "Asian Values" is a concept advanced by some authoritarian regimes to differentiate an Asian model of development, supposedly based on Confucianism, from a Western model identified with individualism, liberal democracy, and human rights. Highlighting the philosophical development of Confucianism as well as the Chinese historical experience with community organization, constitutionalism, education and women's rights, de Bary argues that while the Confucian sense of personhood differs in some respects from Western libertarian concepts of the individual, it is not incompatible with human rights, but could, rather, enhance them. De Bray also demonstrates that Confucian communitarianism has historically resisted state domination, and that human rights in China could be furthered by a genuine Confucian communitarianism that incorporates elements of Western civil society.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674001961
ISBN-10: 0674001966
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Pages: 208
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Mar-2000
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - William Theodore De Bary

Wm. Theodore de Bary is John Mitchell Mason Professor of the University, Emeritus and Provost, Emeritus of Columbia University.

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