The Most Fashionable and the Most Relevant: A Review of Contemporary Chinese Political Philosophy [Book Review]

Diogenes 56 (1):128-137 (2009)
Abstract
This paper presents a review of the main trends of contemporary political philosophy in China. First, it provides a general picture of the presence of contemporary western political philosophy in China. It shows how the different political positions (New Left, liberalist, conservative) relate to the different stances adopted before Western authors, and focuses in particular on the reception of Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss in China’s academic and cultural circles. Second, it provides an account of what might be contemporary Chinese political philosophers’ unique contributions to political theory. It pays particular attention to two Chinese scholars, Gan Yang and Zhao Tingyang. While both of them specialize in western philosophy, they neither echo western political philosophy nor repeat traditional Chinese political thought, but, rather, commit themselves to a transformation of Chinese tradition thought, in order to figure out some original and debatable theories. By focusing on analyzing these philosophers’ ideas and influences, the author hopes to answer two distinct but interrelated questions: how and why are they are so fashionable or popular, and whose thought might retain some pertinence in the context and issues of Chinese political tradition and the existing political practices
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