This paper makes three related points. First, Japan has played an instrumental role in helping to define the shape and substance of multilateralism in Asia in ways deeper than scholarly literature on Asia's regional architecture has allowed. A key driving force behind Japan's contributions is the perceived utility of multilateralism in facilitating Japan's engagement of and/or balancing against China. Second, Japan has been able to achieve this because of the United States' support for Asian multilateralism and Japanese security interests. In (...) the immediate post-Cold War period, Japan facilitated US participation in regional arrangements such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the ASEAN Regional Forum. But Japanese ambivalence over its dependence on the United States was also apparent in Tokyo's attempts to exclude Washington from the newly formed East Asia Summit in late 2005, despite Japan's felt need to balance China. Japan's reliance on quiet diplomacy and an implicit regional leadership has equally been instrumental to its achievements in regional integration. Third, in the light of Japan's longstanding aim to become a normal military power and adopt a more assertive policy toward China, Japan‒US security ties are likely to deepen with negative consequences for Asian multilateralism. However, if its ties with China and South Korea worsen over their islands disputes in the East China Sea, Japan risks undermining its relations with the United States. How Japan balances its normalization with a continued engagement with multilateralism could be key to a stable and secure Asia. (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.
Social media applications such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook have attained huge popularity, with more than three billion people and organizations predicted to have a social networking account by 2015. Social media offers a rapid avenue of communication with the public and has potential benefits for communicable disease control and surveillance. However, its application in everyday public health practice raises a number of important issues around confidentiality and autonomy. We report here a case from local level health protection where the (...) friend of an individual with meningococcal septicaemia used a social networking site to notify potential contacts. (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)
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)
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 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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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)
This thesis forwards a path-based hermeneutics as a middle path (Skt. madhyamā-pratipad) between Deconstruction and Mādhyamaka, in order to understand our existential relatedness without reference to Being. It does not attempt to do so by way of a comparative analysis, which I believe results inevitably in some form of reification of both in terms of their method. Rather, what I see as unique to both Deconstruction and Mādhyamaka is this very lack of method – hermeneutical or otherwise – hence underscoring (...) the significance of this path (either as démarche or mārga) that demands our existential response. The method is the argument, and in working through the various linguistic, epistemological, and ontological assumptions we thus engage (as our response and responsibility at once) with our very conditions of possibility that make them impossible at the same time. (shrink)