Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Public Reason Confucianism
Democratic Perfectionism and Constitutionalism in East Asia

$110.00 (C)

  • Date Published: April 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107106222

$ 110.00 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Recent proposals concerning Confucian meritocratic perfectionism have justified Confucian perfectionism in terms of political meritocracy. In contrast, 'Confucian democratic perfectionism' is a form of comprehensive Confucian perfectionism that can accommodate a plurality of values in civil society. It is also fully compatible with core values of democracy such as popular sovereignty, political equality, and the right to political participation. Sungmoon Kim presents 'public reason Confucianism' as the most attractive option for contemporary East Asian societies that are historically and culturally Confucian. Public reason Confucianism is a particular style of Confucian democratic perfectionism in which comprehensive Confucianism is connected with perfectionism via a distinctive form of public reason. It calls for an active role for the democratic state in promoting a Confucian conception of the good life, at the heart of which are such core Confucian values as filial piety and ritual propriety.

    • Reconciles public reason with perfectionism
    • Proposes a new mode of constitutionalism in East Asia combining democratic citizenship with Confucian values
    • Analytical political philosophy is empirically grounded
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Perhaps the greatest challenge facing political theory across the globe in the twenty-first century is whether it is possible to combine what is best in western liberal democratic thought with what is best in non-western traditions, especially the Confucianism that has shaped the values of more than a quarter of the world's people. No one is confronting this challenge more thoughtfully, creatively, and insightfully than Sungmoon Kim in Public Reason Confucianism."
    Rogers M. Smith, University of Pennsylvania

    "Sungmoon Kim combines a sophisticated command of contemporary political philosophy, especially as it pertains to moral disagreement in pluralistic democratic societies, with deep appreciation for Confucianism as a complex and internally diverse philosophical tradition and a set of practices and institutions that have often been at odds with the most appealing interpretations of the philosophical tradition. Everyone concerned with the debate about how to combine these traditions will need to deal with Kim's vigorously argued blend of Confucian values such as filial piety and democratic values such as political equality, popular sovereignty, and the right to political participation."
    David B. Wong, Susan Fox Beischer and George D. Beischer Professor of Philosophy, Duke University

    "Is there an indigenous political philosophy that can justify and guide the development of constitutional democracy in East Asian societies such as Korea and Taiwan? This book provides a powerful answer …"
    Albert H. Y. Chen, Chan Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Hong Kong

    "Sungmoon Kim brilliantly demonstrates the practical possibilities stemming from a reconciliation of Confucianism with the idea of public reason. In so doing, he shows how Confucian political systems can embrace pluralism and democracy to good effect. Public Reason Confucianism is a landmark contribution to the political theory of East Asia."
    John Dryzek, University of Canberra

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107106222
    • length: 290 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Perfectionism:
    1. Confucian democratic perfectionism
    2. Public reason Confucianism - a construction
    Part II. Constitutionalism:
    3. Public reason Confucian constitutionalism
    4. Public equality and democratic pluralism
    Part III. Civic Virtue:
    5. Between moral virtue and civic virtue
    6. The right to political participation

  • Author

    Sungmoon Kim, City University of Hong Kong
    Sungmoon Kim is Professor of Political Theory at City University of Hong Kong.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.