Confucian Sentimental Representation A New Approach to Confucian Democracy
Kwon conceptualizes a unique mode of political representation in East Asian society, which derives its moral foundation from Confucian virtue politics.
Contemporary East Asian societies understand democracy differently than Western societies do. Even citizens in consolidated democracies such as Taiwan and South Korea have different conceptions of an ideal relationship between a political leader and ordinary citizens, as well as a political leader’s accountability and political legitimacy. A political leader’s proper conduct, including his or her everyday languages, behaviors, and expressions when facing citizens’ sorrow, anger, and resentment, plays a crucial role in evaluating whether he or she has political legitimacy in East Asian society. Kwon analyses how this “affective accountability” forms the basis for political representation in these societies and examines how this can be reconciled with liberal democracy.
A vital contribution not only to Confucian political theory, but also to political theory writ large that will be of especial value to political scientists with an interest in East Asian democracy.