Confucianism and Reflexive Modernity

Bringing Community back to Human Rights in the Age of Global Risk Society


Confucianism and Reflexive Modernity offers an excellent example of a dialogue between East and West by linking post-Confucian developments in East Asia to a Western idea of reflexive modernity originally proposed by Ulrich Beck, Anthony Giddens, and Scott Lash in 1994. The author makes a sharp confrontation with the paradigm of Asian Value Debate led by Lee Kwan-Yew and defends a balance between individual empowerment and flourishing community for human rights, basically in line with Juergen Habermas, but in the context of global risk society, particularly from an enlightened perspective of Confucianism. The book is distinguished by sophisticated theoretical reflection, comparative reasoning, and solid empirical argument concerning Asian identity in transformation and the aspects of reflexive modernity in East Asia.

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Biographical Note
Sang-Jin Han, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Seoul National University, taught at Peking University and Columbia University (New York) as Visiting Professor and published Divided Nations and Transitional Justice (Paradigm Publisher, 2012), Beyond Risk Society (SNU Press, 2017), Asian Tradition and Cosmopolitan Politics (Lexington Books, 2018).
Table of contents

Preface: Reflection on Paradoxical Modernity

Part One: Where East Asia stands Today: A Theoretical Reflection

1. Asian Identity in Transformation
2. Post-Confucian Development Beyond the Asian Values Debate
3. The Confucian Contribution to Human Rights

Part Two: A Post-Confucian Approach to Human Rights in East Asia

4. Main Issues of Human Rights in the Context of East Asian Development
5. Individual Freedom and Flourishing Community: Searching for a Balance
6. The Confucian Norm of Minben and the Self-Rule by Citizens of Gwangju: A Participatory Human Rights Community
7. A Universal but Non-hegemonic Approach to Human Rights in International Politics
8. Intercultural Dialogue and Human Rights in North Korea

Part Three: The Confucian Challenge to Risk Society and Reflexive Modernity

9. Risk Society and Confucian Reflexive Modernity
10. Human Catastrophe and the Struggle for Recognition
11. Global Risks and East Asia: A Research Program

Conclusion: Toward a Reflexive Sociology

Appendix: Interview Texts
* Anthony Giddens
- From Tradition to Reflexive Modernization
- Third Way Politics
- New Global Transformation Trends and the Future of Modernity
* Scott Lash
- From Reflexive Sociology to Aesthetic Reflexivity
-The Future of Global Capitalism from the Perspective of Confucianism and Digital Technology: My View of China
* Tu Weiming
- Can Confucianism in the 21st Century Be a New Alternative?
* Ulrich Beck
- How to Live in Global Risk Society

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