This is a preprint
restricted access The Discontents of Moderate Political Confucianism and the Future of Democracy in East Asia

Recent theories of Confucian democracy are increasingly aware of pluralism in East Asian societies. In this essay, I will first analyze Joseph Chan’s Confucian political perfectionism and Sungmoon Kim’s public reason Confucianism and argue that both suffer from distinct problems that stem from the failure to truly take pluralism seriously. Based on empirical evidence in contemporary East Asia, I will then argue that the reasonable question to ask when it comes to the future of democracy in East Asia is how sustainable democracies can be established and maintained among a diversity of comprehensive doctrines, of which Confucianism is only one among many.