2021-2022 Hu Shih Distinguished Lecture: Tim Brook
Government for the People: Troubling Legacies of the Confucian Statecraft Tradition
Timothy Brook, Professor of History, Department of History, The University of British Columbia - On October 28, 2021, Professor Brook gave the annual Hu Shih Distinguished Lecture titled "Government for the People: Troubling Legacies of the Confucian Statecraft Tradition". Americans are familiar with Lincoln’s “of the people, by the people, for the people,” just as the Chinese are familiar with Sun Yatsen’s “three principles of the people.” They are parallel discourses of government, but rise from different traditions and anticipate different outcomes. On the Chinese tradition of government for the people, no one writes more clearly than Qiu Jun (1421-1495), chancellor of the National Academy and compiler of the authoritative handbook of state administration. Caught between the models of Great State ambition and Confucian self-cultivation, Qiu put Confucian philosophy to work so that the state acted for the people—but not of them or by them. If he deserves our notice, it is because even today his vision shapes Chinese perceptions of good government in ways that surprise and trouble.
Video of full lecture with presentation slides edited into the video.
Cornell East Asia Program
East Asia Program, Cornell University
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