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Approaching Chinese freedom : a study in absolute and relative values

Annäherung an die chinesische Freiheit : eine Studie zu den absoluten und den relativen Werten
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Kelly, David

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Abstract The rise of stability preservation to dominance in the political order coincided with a highly charged debate over “universal values” and a closely related discussion of a “China Model”. This paper analyses the critique of universal values as a “wedge issue” that is used to pre-empt criticism of the party-state by appealing to nationalism and cultural essentialism. Taking freedom as a case in point of a universal value, it shows that, while more developed in the West, freedom has an authentic Chinese history with key watersheds in the late Qing reception of popular sovereignty and the ending of the Maoist era. The work of Wang Ruoshui, Qin Hui and Xu Jilin display some of the resources liberals now bring to “de-wedging” universal values, not least freedom. They share a refusal to regard “Western” values as essentially hostile to Chinese.
Keywords China; freedom; human rights; value
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Free Keywords statism; historicism; Qin Hui; Xu Jilin
Document language English
Publication Year 2013
Page/Pages p. 141-165
Journal Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 42 (2013) 2
Issue topic Preserving stability: process, dimensions and ideological exercise
ISSN 1868-4874
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works