China is a rising economic and political power. Much research and scholarly work is currently being undertaken exploring the global implications of this rise. Yet, to truly comprehend China also requires a greater understanding of the country at a more fundamental level – particularly of its values and evolution of social and political narratives – and how this can be harnessed to make the world a better place.
As we enter a period in world history where political values – in the West, China and elsewhere – are being re-examined and reformed, there is much in China’s rich legacy of political philosophy which is relevant for the China of today and the world at large. There is also much that can be learned by taking a comparative approach to examining China’s political values with those of other societies and civilizations.
The Center for International and Comparative Political Philosophy, based at Tsinghua University’s Institute for International Studies, and the first of its kind in China, therefore has the mission of clarifying, systematizing and sharing knowledge of China’s social and political values, how they compare to those of other societies, and how they can be most desirable from a moral standpoint and feasible in contemporary societies. The Center will organize projects on themes such as political meritocracy and social harmony – themes central to China’s political tradition – and contrast and compare with those in liberal and other political traditions.
It is our aspiration that the Center’s work can illuminate more about China and its society of today, and contribute to the development of new ideas for better domestic and international governance of our societies in the 21st Century and beyond.