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Professors Joel S. Fetzer and J. Christopher Soper Discuss Their New Book Confucianism, Democratization, and Human Rights in Taiwan

Professors Joel S. Fetzer and J. Christopher Soper will discuss their new book, Confucianism, Democratization, and Human Rights in Taiwan, Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 2 p.m. in Payson Library's Surfboard Room in Malibu.

Responding to the "Asian values" debate over the compatibility of Confucianism and liberal democracy, Confucianism, Democratization, and Human Rights in Taiwan, by Joel S. Fetzer and J. Christopher Soper, offers a rigorous, systematic investigation of the contributions of Confucian thought to democratization and the protection of women, indigenous peoples, and press freedom in Taiwan.

Relying upon a unique combination of empirical analysis of public opinion surveys, legislative debates, public school textbooks, and interviews with leading Taiwanese political actors, this essential study documents the changing role of Confucianism in Taiwan's recent political history. While the ideology largely bolstered authoritarian rule in the past and played little role in Taiwan's democratization, the belief system is now in the process of transforming itself in a pro-democratic direction.

In contrast to those who argue that Confucianism is inherently authoritarian, the authors contend that Confucianism is capable of multiple interpretations, including ones that legitimate democratic forms of government.  The results of this study have profound implications for other Asian countries such as China and Singapore, which are also Confucian but have not yet made a full transition to democracy.

For more information, visit the Libraries Web site.