The secret of confucian Wuwei statecraft: Mencius's political theory of responsibility

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Despite his strong commitment to the ideal of wuwei statecraft, Mencius advanced a distinct yet cohesive theory of Confucian youwei statecraft that can serve the ideal of wuwei, first by means of the principled application of individual and social responsibility under unfavorable socioeconomic conditions, and second by offering a concrete public policy (i.e. the well-field system) that contributes to a decent socioeconomic condition on which the society can be self-governing and where individuals (and families) can fully exercise their individual moral and socioeconomic responsibility. My central claim is that Confucian wuwei statecraft has a practical and social background, namely, a socioeoconomically and morally self-governing civil society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-42
Number of pages16
JournalAsian Philosophy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
[14] This interpretation (and comparison with Rawls) is supported by Chan (2003).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies
  • Philosophy


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