In this article, Liu Qing (b. 1963), a professor of politics at East China Normal University in Shanghai, explores liberalism's potential in the Chinese context and examines some of the dilemmas that it has encountered thus far. His thesis is that the preconditions exist for liberalism to thrive in China, but as with other ideological discourses in China today, both native and foreign, there are existing tensions within Chinese liberal thought that must be reconciled before it can flourish. The desirability and feasibility of liberal thought, Liu contends, are based on intrinsic developments in twentieth century China, rather than an ideological program introduced by the West. To formulate this argument, he draws from Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor, making the case that such developments originate from a "social imaginary" that has been produced through China's historical and social practice. Liu then engages with debates between liberals (Ronald Dworkin, Charles Larmore, John Rawls, Mark Lilla, Xu Jilin), New Confucians (Tu Weiming, Yu Yingshi), and social theorists (Max Weber, Jï¿½rgen Habermas), reflecting on liberalism's plight in the Chinese context.
|Published - 2019