Work-in-Progress Session: “Confucian Thought and Alternatives to Democracy: Political Elites and Bureaucratic Hierarchy in Early Chinese Empires”


Location: Hesburgh Center (View on map )


China’s rapid development in the past forty years has led political scientists to reflect on the “China model.” One group of scholars labels the China model as a meritocracy, an alternative to Western democracy that, they claim, is influenced by Confucianism and has deep roots in the Chinese Imperial Examination system. This is a misreading of history. My new book manuscript contends that using bureaucrats who are subject to a rigid hierarchical system to lead the country—the China model—is exactly the political system that Confucians fiercely attacked and successfully changed.

Liang Cai, Assoc. Professor of History and Kellogg Institute Faculty Fellow 

This event is hosted by the Kellogg Instittute for International Studies. Refistration is required. For more information , please visit: