Professor Loubna El Amine reexamines the much debated issue of Confucianism's role and impact in historical and modern political practice in her new book Classic Confucian Political Thought to answer the question, "What exactly is Confucian political thought?" Dr. El Amine's research revists classical Confucian texts and to analyze core elements of the Confucian political vision, including the relationship between ruler and the people, the typology of rulers, and the role of ministers and government officials. She finds that Confucian political thought is not a direct application of Confucian moral philosophy. Instead, contrary to the conventional view that Confucian rule aims to instill virtue in all members of society, Dr. El Amine demonstrates that its main aim is to promote political order.
She also looks at Confucianism’s account of the mechanisms through which society is to be regulated, from welfare policies to rituals. She explains that the Confucian conception of the political prioritizes stability and order over apparent virtuosity, allowing for the rule of those who are not ideally virtuous. Also, she contends that Confucians defend the duty to take part in government based on the benefits that such participation can bring to society.
Classical Confucian Political Thought brings a new understanding to Confucian political theory by illustrating that it is not chiefly idealistic and centered on virtue, but rather realistic and driven by political concerns.
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Hardcover: 232 pages