Graduate studies at Western
Journal of Global Ethics 1 (2):177 – 196 (2005)
|Abstract||The essay begins from Alan Gewirth's influential account of human rights, and specifically with his argument that the human right to political participation can only be fulfilled by competitive, liberal democracy. I show that his argument rests on empirical, rather than conceptual grounds, which opens the possibility that in China, alternative forms of participation may be legitimate or even superior. An examination of the theory and contemporary practice of 'democratic centralism' shows that while it does not now adequately support the right to political participation, a reformed version could. I focus in particular on the roles that could be played by consultative institutions, looking both to recent Chinese proposals and to analogues currently existing in Japan. I conclude that a reformed democratic centralism may well be the objective toward which Chinese people should strive|
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