Tradition and the Translation of Democracy during the Transitional Period of Modern China (1895-1925)

Major, Philippe. (2016) Tradition and the Translation of Democracy during the Transitional Period of Modern China (1895-1925). Contemporary Chinese Thought, 47 (3). pp. 153-165.

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This article argues that Anglophone works on Chinese democracy have tended to build their analyses on assumptions that tradition is either (1) a premodern phenomenon unrelated to China’s democratization process, (2) a hindrance that should be gotten rid of if China is to democratize, (3) a static phenomenon that cannot but appear antiquated with regard to a dynamic, fast-paced modern China, or (4) an object from which modern agents can freely draw. In order to challenge these assumptions, this article suggests that modernity and democracy were translated into a Chinese milieu already ripe with Gadamerian prejudices: prejudices that not only modified the meaning of modernity and democracy, but also provided the very conditions without which modernity and democracy would not have been meaningful or understood at all. Max Ko-wu Huang’s work can contribute to our understanding of the role played by various traditions in the process of translating democracy during the transitional period of modern China (1895–1925).
Faculties and Departments:08 Cross-disciplinary Subjects > Europainstitut > Europainstitut > European Global Studies (Weber)
UniBasel Contributors:Major, Philippe
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:04 Feb 2020 16:13
Deposited On:04 Feb 2020 16:13

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