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Chinese civilisation in the present

Feuchtwang, Stephan (2012) Chinese civilisation in the present. Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 13 (2). pp. 112-127. ISSN 1444-2213

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Identification Number: 10.1080/14442213.2012.656692


Commentators on China frequently find a continuity of imperial dynastic rule with the rule of the Chinese Communist Party, thus perpetuating the stereotype of Asian despotism, not knowing the character of the Chinese civilisational tradition of sage rule. Or else they predict, starting with the successors to Mao, a gradual transition to the full panoply of democratic and civil society under the influence of entry into the world capitalist economy. Conversely, there is a reverse politics by Chinese political leaders, Chinese intellectuals and many middle-class Chinese promoting the national civilisation of China and identifying it with the philosophy of Confucius. The paper argues that there is continuity, but it is neither of despotism nor of Confucianism. It presents a summary of sage rule and self cultivation and analyses how the Chinese republican state has transformed sage rule and popular self-cultivation into a quite different state relationship.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: Anthropology
Asia Centre
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2012 09:23
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:28

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