UCSB Confucius Institute China Studies Forum Series
Confucianism and Politics in Contemporary China
Prof. Shanruo Ning Zhang 张善若
Department of Political Science
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Tuesday April 25, 2017 @ 5:00-6:30 pm
This talk examines how Confucian political culture operates in contemporary Chinese politics. The author draws upon a wide range of data—surveys, interviews, archives, public hearings records, and Communist Party reports—to argue that China’s political culture performs functions similar to democratic political cultures, i.e., providing legitimacy for the government and enabling citizens to engage the state. The talk also discusses how Chinese notions of morality, reciprocity (guanxi), rule of law, legitimacy of the state, and the modes citizens employ to connect with the state are all rooted in key principles of Confucian discourse.
Zhang Ning received her Ph.D. from UCSB Political Science. Her research examines the role of Confucian political culture in shaping the reasoning and opinion formation processes in China domestic politics and foreign policy. Methodologically, she conducts content and discourse analyses on various type of political texts including official documents, speeches, as well as online content.