Conceptions of the ‘good citizen’ have implications for defining the goals of civic education and formulating civic education programs. In Mainland China, the concept of ‘good citizen’ is clearly defined by the authorities in the official curriculum guidelines. Teachers’ perceptions of a ‘good citizen’, however, may differ from any official definition and will influence their approaches to the implementation of civic education in schools. The research reported here used qualitative methods to explore some Chinese junior high school teachers’ perceptions of (...) a ‘good citizen’, drawing on Westheimer and Kahne’s identification of three ‘visions of citizenship’ used in the US as a baseline. We argue that an effective civic education curriculum must consider teachers’ actual perceptions of a ‘good citizen’ in practice and that Chinese teachers’ awareness and understanding of citizenship needs to improve. (shrink)
The cosmopolitan idea of justice is commonly accused of not taking seriously the special ties and commitments of nationality and patriotism. This is because the ideal of impartial egalitarianism, which is central to the cosmopolitan view, seems to be directly opposed to the moral partiality inherent to nationalism and patriotism. In this book, Kok-Chor Tan argues that cosmopolitan justice, properly understood, can accommodate and appreciate nationalist and patriotic commitments, setting limits for these commitments without denying their moral significance. This book (...) offers a defense of cosmopolitan justice against the charge that it denies the values that ordinarily matter to people, and a defence of nationalism and patriotism against the charge that these morally partial ideals are fundamentally inconsistent with the obligations of global justice. Accessible and persuasive, this book will have broad appeal to political theorists and moral philosophers. (shrink)
Kok-Chor Tan addresses three key questions in political philosophy: Where does distributive equality matter? Why does it matter? And among whom does it matter? He argues for an institutional site for egalitarian justice, a luck-egalitarian ideal of why equality matters, and a global scope for distributive justice.
In this essay Charlene Tan offers a philosophical analysis of the Singapore state's vision of shared citizenship by examining it from a Confucian perspective. The state's vision, known formally as “Our Shared Values,” consists of communitarian values that reflect the official ideology of multiculturalism. This initiative included a White Paper, entitled Shared Values, which presented pejorative assessments of the ideals of “individual rights” and “individual interests” as antithetical to national interests. Rejecting this characterization, Tan argues that a dominant Confucian perspective (...) recognizes the correlative rights of all human beings that are premised on the inherent right to human dignity, worth, and equality. Furthermore, Confucianism posits that it is in everyone's interest to attain the Confucian ethical ideal of becoming a noble person in society through self-cultivation. Tan concludes by highlighting two key implications for Singapore from a Confucian perspective on the Shared Values: first, schools in Singapore should place greater emphasis on individual moral development of their students, and second, more avenues should be provided for residents to contribute actively to the development of the vision of shared citizenship. (shrink)
In their responses to James Tully’s article “Deparochializing Political Theory and Beyond,” Garrick Cooper, Charles W. Mills, Sudipta Kaviraj and Sor-hoon Tan engage with different aspects of Tully’s “genuine dialogue.” While they seem to concur with Tully on the urgency of deparochializing political theory, their responses bring to light salient issues which would have to be thought through in taking this project forward.
What signals do firms in emerging economies send to stakeholders when they adopt corporate social responsibility practices? We argue that in emerging economies, firms that adopt CSR practices positively signal investors that their firms have superior capabilities for filling institutional voids. From an institution-based view, we hypothesize that the institutional environment moderates the signaling effect of CSR on a firm’s financial performance. Based on a sample of firms from ten Asian emerging economies, we find a positive relationship between CSR practices (...) and financial performance. This positive relationship is stronger in the less developed capital market than in the more developed one. The financial benefits of CSR practices are also more salient in the low information diffusion market than in the high one. We emphasize that signaling theory and the institution-based view can jointly contribute to the CSR literature. (shrink)
It feels like there’s two of you inside—like there’s another half of you, which is my anorexia, and then there’s the real K [own name], the real me, the logic part of me, and it’s a constant battle between the two. The anorexia almost does become part of you, and so in order to get it out of you I think you do have to kind of hurt you in the process. I think it’s almost inevitable. We came to the (...) concept of authenticity belatedly, one might say. We had been talking to people who had a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa about their experiences of living with their condition, and though we had not raised issues of authenticity or identity ourselves, they often did. They struggled with questions of .. (shrink)
We examine the use of Confucian relational morality as an alternative reference point to that of modernist morality in judging workplace ethical conduct. A semi-structured interview based study involving 46 ethnic Chinese managers and 30 non-Chinese expatriate managers in Singapore, provided evidence of the use of traditional guanxi-linked morality as a moral resource by some of the former group in judging workplace ethical dilemmas. While such morality played only a minor role in moral reasoning, and was largely overshadowed by modernist (...) morality, the research nonetheless demonstrates that moral reasoning reflects wider cultural heritage, and is not merely a function of corporate culture and individual moral development. (shrink)
Using empirical evidence gathered from Chinese listed companies, this article explores the relationship between micro-governance mechanisms and corporate philanthropy from a corporate governance perspective. In China’s emerging market, ultimate controlling shareholders of state-owned enterprises are reluctant to donate their assets or resources to charitable organizations; in private enterprises marked by more deviation in voting and cash flow rights, such donations tend to be more likely. However, the ultimate controllers in PEs refuse to donate assets or resources they control or own, (...) which implies that corporate philanthropy by PEs comes at the cost of others, through assets or resources owned by minority shareholders. Even after devastating natural disasters such as the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake, the controlling shareholders continue to express reluctance to donate any assets they control. Despite widespread evidence that corporate philanthropy boosts corporate growth and profitability, these ultimate controllers indicate no intention to donate their own money as a means to improve corporate performance. (shrink)
With the expansion of multinational corporations (MNCs), the alarming upsurge in widely publicized and notable corporate scandals involving MNCs in emerging markets has begun to draw both academic and managerial attention to look beyond home market practices to the pressing concern of CSR in emerging markets. Previous studies on CSR have focused primarily on Western markets, reserving limited discussions in addressing the issue of MNC attitudes and CSR practices in their emerging host markets abroad. Despite this incongruity in academic response (...) to CSR in emerging markets, managers of multinational companies continue to face mounting and most often conflicting pressures to weigh among multiple strategic CSR responses in emerging markets. Such a task is often further complicated by the complexity of varying business norms and standards, regulatory environments, and stakeholder demands for CSR across national boundaries. With such a challenge in mind, I attempt to examine the explanatory factors in leading MNCs, otherwise recognized for accountability and integrity in their home markets, to employ inconsistent or negligent practices under CSR pressure in Chinese emerging economy. Preliminary findings reveal that discrepancies exist in how MNCs perform in CSR in home countries versus in host countries. While MNCs do have much to improve, the institutional environment in the emerging market, including the legal framework and the ethical culture, also needs to be improved by the host country governments, the industry associations, and local firms. Meanwhile, media interest and journalists, NGOs, third party monitors, industry stakeholders as well as consumer advocacy groups can raise the visibility of MNC's contradictory practices between their origin nations and countries with emerging economies and offer the pressures and incentives for MNCs to amend their ethical short-comings. This article also suggests implications for both theory and practice. (shrink)
In this study, we aim to investigate how multinational corporations (MNCs) balance ethical pressures from both the home and host countries. Drawing on theories from institutional theory, international business, and business ethics, we build a theoretical framework to explain the ethical behavior of MNCs. We apply the institutional logic concept to examine how MNCs with established logics and principles that have grown in the home country respond to local ethical expectations in the host country. We differentiate the core values from (...) the peripheral components of a MNCs institutional logic and propose that a MNC will pursue distinctive ethical strategies under different scenarios and choose the "right" configuration of core values and peripheral components that align with institutional environment in host countries. (shrink)
This study addresses the question whether corporate social responsibility (CSR) matters in Asian Emerging Markets. Based on CSR scores compiled by Credit Lyonnais Securities (Asia), we assess the CSR performance of major Asian firms over a period of 3 years, from 2001 to 2004. The results show that there is a positive and significant relation between CSR and market valuation among Asian firms. We further find that CSR is positively related to the market valuation of the subsequent year. More importantly, (...) Asian firms are rewarded by the market for improving their CSR practice. (shrink)
Luck egalitarianism provides one powerful way of defending global egalitarianism. The basic luck egalitarian idea that persons ought not to be disadvantaged compared to others on account of his or her bad luck seems to extend naturally to the global arena, where random factors such as persons’ place of birth and the natural distribution of the world’s resources do affect differentially their life chances. Yet luck egalitarianism as an ideal, as well as its global application, has come under severe criticisms (...) in recent debate. My aim in this article is to restore plausibility to the luck egalitarian idea, and to suggest how it could then provide a plausible grounding for global egalitarianism. To do this, I will propose a more modest but also more defensible conception of luck egalitarianism that can also strengthen the case for global distributive justice. (shrink)
Confucian education is often associated with rote-memorisation that is characterised by sheer repetition of facts with no or little understanding of the content learnt. But does Confucian education necessarily promote rote-memorisation? What does Confucius himself have to say about education? This article aims to answer the above questions by examining Confucius’ concept of si based on a textual study of the Analects. It is argued that Confucius’ concept of si primarily involves an active inquiry into issues that concern one’s everyday (...) life, promotes inferential thinking, and facilitates self-examination. Far from advocating rote-memorisation, Confucius highlights the need for us to take ownership of our own learning, engage in higher order thinking, and reflectively apply the lessons learnt in our lives. (shrink)
Electroencephalogram based Brain–Computer Interfaces enable stroke and motor neuron disease patients to communicate and control devices. Mindfulness meditation has been claimed to enhance metacognitive regulation. The current study explores whether mindfulness meditation training can thus improve the performance of BCI users. To eliminate the possibility of expectation of improvement influencing the results, we introduced a music training condition. A norming study found that both meditation and music interventions elicited clear expectations for improvement on the BCI task, with the strength of (...) expectation being closely matched. In the main 12 week intervention study, seventy-six healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to three groups: a meditation training group; a music training group; and a no treatment control group. The mindfulness meditation training group obtained a significantly higher BCI accuracy compared to both the music training and no-treatment control groups after the intervention, indicating effects of meditation above and beyond expectancy effects. (shrink)
We live in an increasingly globalizing world, in which countries are closely linked by international trade and investment ties. Cross-cultural comparative studies of national values and ethics have attracted growing research interest in recent years, because shared practices, values and ethical standards depend on shared beliefs. However, the findings of such studies have been unable to reach a consensus on the impact of culture on ethics-related attitudes and behavior. Empirically, many "cross–cultural" differences reported by previous studies might actually stem from (...) cross-national differences. In order to partially fill this gap, this study advocates an analytical framework that isolates the role of cultural and national differences in order to test their relationship to individual level variables. Within this framework, we test competing hypotheses based on both cultural and national contexts by comparing groups of Chinese and American respondents together with a "bridging group" of Chinese Chinese-Americans. Theoretically, this contextual approach helps resolve the debate on the role of culture, by showing that culture plays a far more important role in shaping value orientations than the national background. Specifically, the two ethnic Chinese groups had many cultural values in common, and differed significantly from the Caucasian group. Implications are discussed. (shrink)
Confucianism’s long historical association with despotism has cast doubts on its compatibility with democracy, and raise questions about its relevance in contemporary societies increasingly dominated by democratic aspirations. “Confucian democracy” has been described as a “contradiction in terms” and Asian politicians have appropriated Confucianism to justify resistance to liberalization and democratization. There has been a lively debate over the question of whether democracy can be found in Confucianism, from ancient texts such as the Analects and Mencius, to Confucian institutions such (...) as those recommended by Song dynasty Huang Zongxi. Philosophers have examined similarities and differences between Western ideas, such as autonomy, liberty, and rights, that are central to democratic theories on the one hand and Confucian ideas of virtue, ren , yi , li , zhi , exemplary person and authority. Scholars have studied the biographical accounts of prominent Confucians to understand the Confucian ideal person and society. Works arguing that there are elements of democracy in Confucianism, or that some Confucian ideas could provide the basis for a contemporary Confucian democracy, differ in the kind of democracy they choose as models. Liberal democracy was the model of earlier works; with increasing criticisms of liberal democracy in the past decades, a growing number of works arguing for Confucian democracy seek alternatives to liberal democracies, many proposing some kind of communitarian democracy as having affinity with the Confucian philosophical orientation. Besides conceptions of democracy that view it in terms of political systems, Dewey’s conception of democracy as the idea of community and primarily a moral ideal has also inspired attempts to reconstruct Confucian democracy. (shrink)
Two classes of arguments are often deployed by the anti-global egalitarians against attempts to universalize the demands of distributive equality. One are arguments attempting to show that global egalitarians have misconstrued the reasons for why equality matters domestically, and hence have wrongly extended these reasons to the global arena. These arguments hold that the boundary of distributive justice is effectively coextensive with the boundaries of state. The other are arguments that attempt to show that membership in political societies generates special (...) duties among members that may outweigh the demands of global egalitarianism. These arguments appeal to the ethical significance of state boundaries and membership. In my defense of global egalitarianism, I reject both the attempts to limit the boundary of justice and the attempts to give state boundaries special moral significance and priority. In particular, I will argue that the boundary of justice cannot coincide with the boundaries of states when the justice of the boundaries is at issue. (shrink)
Against a backdrop of an international trend to shift from a teacher-centred to a learner-centred education, this article explores a Confucian conception of education. Focusing on an ancient Chinese text Xueji, the essay examines its educational ideals and practices based on the principles of ‘choice’, ‘doing’ and ‘power relationship’. It is argued that the educational model in the Xueji does not fit the description of a learner-centred education as commonly understood in the Western literature. Rather, the Xueji advocates a ‘teacher-directed (...) and learner-engaged’ approach by giving the teacher control over the curriculum and authority over the learners while encouraging the learners to participate actively in the learning process. In proposing a conception that is not exactly learner-centred, the Xueji challenges the assumption that ‘good’ education must necessarily be learner-centred. (shrink)
This article proposes a Confucian conception of critical thinking by focussing on the notion of judgement. It is argued that the attainment of the Confucian ideal of li necessitates and promotes critical thinking in at least two ways. First, the observance of li requires the individual to exercise judgement by applying the generalised knowledge, norms and procedures in dao to particular action-situations insightfully and flexibly. Secondly, the individual's judgement, to qualify as an instance of li, should be underpinned and motivated (...) by the ethical quality of ren that testifies to one's moral character. Two educational implications arising from a Confucian conception of critical thinking are highlighted. First, the Confucian interpretation presented in this essay challenges the perception that critical thinking is absent from or culturally incompatible with Chinese traditions. Secondly, such a conception advocates viewing critical thinking as a form of judgement that is action-oriented, spiritual, ethical and interpersonal. (shrink)
Those who see Confucianism as a premodern imperial ideology or a traditional religion have no problem characterizing its social ideal as inherently hierarchical, as this is fairly typical of such systems of thought. From this perspective, rather than valuing equality Confucianism takes for granted inequalities among people, and justifies social hierarchies and unequal distribution of power, resources, prestige, and other goods as part of its ethics and its ideal of good government by sagely kings, the justification sometimes involving metaphysical claims (...) about cosmic and religious hierar-chies.1 While some reject Confucianism for its supposed opposition to egalitarianism from perspectives that consider equality a.. (shrink)
The "comprehensive liberalism" defended in this book offers an alternative to the narrower "political liberalism" associated with the writings of John Rawls. By arguing against making tolerance as fundamental a value as individual autonomy, and extending the reach of liberalism to global society, it opens the way for dealing more adequately with problems of human rights and economic inequality in a world of cultural pluralism.
Counternomics—counterfactuals whose antecedents run contrary to the laws of nature—are commonplace in science but have enjoyed relatively little philosophical attention. This article discusses a puzzle about our counternomic epistemology, focusing on cases in which experimental observations are used as evidence for counternomic claims. I show that these cases resist being characterized in familiar interventionist lines, and I suggest a characterization of my own.
Many liberals have argued that a cosmopolitan perspective on global justice follows from the basic liberal principles of justice. Yet, increasingly, it is also said that intrinsic to liberalism is a doctrine of nationalism. This raises a potential problem for the liberal defense of cosmopolitan justice as it is commonly believed that nationalism and cosmopolitanism are conflicting ideals. If this is correct, there appears to be a serious tension within liberal philosophy itself, between its cosmopolitan aspiration on the one hand, (...) and its nationalist agenda on the other. I argue, however, that this alleged conflict between liberal nationalism and cosmopolitan liberalism disappears once we get clear on the scope and goals of cosmopolitan justice and the parameters of liberal nationalism. Liberal nationalism and cosmopolitan global justice, properly understood, are mutually compatible ideals. (shrink)