Xunzi and Ancient Chinese Authority

  • Michael Twohey
Part of the Studies on the Chinese Economy book series (STCE)


In order to understand how traditional authority could have been adapted to modern China’s political economy, it is necessary to examine the philosophical sources that may have informed this authority. This was also the task of China’s Confucian scholar-officials in the late Qing dynasty (AD 1644–1912). In their attempts to provide solutions to China’s backwardness at the beginning of the twentieth century, important scholar-officials read Western political and economic theory and studied the Western political institutions that they encountered during their extensive travels through Europe and North America. Despite the contrasting world of prosperity, efficiency and political order that they observed in the West, most scholar-officials concluded that China was not ready for the democratic traditions that had inspired these.


Chinese Philosopher Chinese Text Ancient Nation Late Qing Dynasty Confucian Philosopher 
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© Michael Twohey 1999

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  • Michael Twohey

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