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Daniel A. Bell – China’s Struggle between Communism and Confucianism

September 25, 2023 @ 4:30 pm 6:00 pm

Daniel A. Bell, Professor, Chair of Political Theory with the Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong

Peter Bol
, Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University
Yuhua Wang, Professor of Government, Harvard University

During China’s Cultural Revolution, Chairman Mao’s Red Guards denounced Confucius for fostering “bad elements, rightists, monsters, and freaks.” But in recent decades, the Communist Party embraced the ancient philosopher, who emphasized a combination of benevolence and social order. Party Secretary Xi Jinping, determined to maintain stability, is once again promoting stern Communist rhetoric and values. Will China eventually find a way to integrate these two traditions? And what can the struggle between Communism and Confucianism tell us about China’s future path? 

Confucian expert Daniel A. Bell will explore these questions with Harvard University’s Peter Bol, Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and Yuhua Wang, Professor of Government who recently published The Rise and Fall of Imperial China. Bell’s new book The Dean of Shandong, is an insider’s view of Chinese academia and what it tells us about China’s political system.

Daniel A. Bell  (貝淡寧) is Professor, Chair of Political Theory with the Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong. He served as Dean of the School of Political Science and Public Administration at Shandong University (Qingdao) from 2017 to 2022.   His books include The Dean of Shandong (2023),  Just Hierarchy (co-authored with Wang Pei, 2020), The China Model (2015), The Spirit of Cities (co-authored with Avner de-Shalit, 2012), China’s New Confucianism (2008), Beyond Liberal Democracy (2007), and East Meets West (2000), all published by Princeton University Press.  He is also the author of Communitarianism and Its Critics (Oxford University Press, 1993). 

Bell is founding editor of the Princeton-China series (Princeton University Press), which translates and publishes original and influential academic works from China. His works have been translated in 23 languages. He has been interviewed in English, Chinese, and French. In 2018, he was awarded the Huilin Prize and was honored as a “Cultural Leader” by the World Economic Forum.

Also available via Zoom. Register at: https://harvard.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_EGsuvDUUQImIychErvnkgA


September 25, 2023
4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies


CGIS South S020, Belfer Case Study Room

1730 Cambridge St.
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States

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