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What exactly is 'The Chinese Ideal?' A discussion of Daniel A. Bell's The China Model: Political meritocracy and the limits of democracy
journal contributionposted on 01.03.2016, 00:00 authored by Baogang HeBaogang He
China, also known as “the People’s Republic of China,” is indisputably the world’s most populous country and also a rising superpower on the world economic and political stage. In The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2015), Daniel A. Bell argues that China also represents a distinctive “model of governance” that is neither liberal democracy nor authoritarianism—a “political meritocracy.” Expanding on themes developed in a number of previous books, Bell outlines the logic of this “model;” compares it, rather favorably, to liberal democracy, especially as a regime well suited to Chinese history, culture, and political experience; and also considers, briefly, its more general relevance to the politics of the 21st century. The issues he raises are relevant to students of comparative politics, democratic theory, world politics, and U.S. foreign policy. And so we have invited a range of political scientists to comment.