The Future of Meritocracy: A Discussion of Daniel Bell’s The China Model

In: Journal of Chinese Humanities

Abstract

Compared to Wang Shaoguang’s approach to re-interpret the old concept “democracy” to overcome the Schumpeterian model of political legitimation, Daniel Bell’s Political Meritocracy takes a more challenging path, attempting to build a new discourse of legitimacy centering on the concept “meritocracy” and incorporating elements of ancient China’s traditions, the socialist revolutions in the twentieth century, and the system of competitive elections common in the Western world today. This inspiring work is full of incisive arguments, but could be improved by further considering the tension between the Confucian tradition and the revolutionary tradition in the twentieth century.

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