Abstract

Abstract:

Scholars have been puzzled by the high level of support for democracy, as well as the high level of support for the authoritarian regime, in China, as revealed in numerous surveys. In this paper, Shi and Lu argue that people in different societies may understand democracy in distinct ways. Confucian culture defines democracy in terms of Minben, which is different from the procedural understanding of democracy following the liberal tradition. These two definitions generate different expectations for the government, provide varying standards for assessing political legitimacy, and define distinct functions of participation. Their findings suggest that meaningful comparative studies of support for democracy require scholars to be sensitive to culturally embedded understandings of democracy in different societies.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3214
Print ISSN
1045-5736
Pages
pp. 123-130
Launched on MUSE
2010-10-20
Open Access
No
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