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Title: How can a Chinese democracy be pragmatic?
Authors: Tan, S.-H. 
Keywords: Chinese politics
Chinese pragmatism
Dewey in China
Issue Date: 2011
Citation: Tan, S.-H. (2011). How can a Chinese democracy be pragmatic?. Transactions of the Charles S Peirce Society 47 (2) : 196-225. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Early in the last century, some of John Dewey's Chinese students had a chance to influence the fate of the first Chinese Republic. These individuals, Hu Shih being the most prominent example, were identified as Chinese liberals in the political spectrum of that time and advocated education reforms as the chief means of "saving China." Despite the hope for radical social change engendered by the New Culture Movement, education reforms failed, and cultural transformation did not lead in a democratic direction, at least not a Pragmatic2 democracy as conceived by Dewey. A century later, China is again going through a period of rapid change, with its politics often labeled "pragmatic." Rather than looking towards the West for democratic inspiration, there is a tide of rising nationalism that challenges al Western norms, including those of democracy. This paper examines the fluctuating influence of Dewey's Pragmatism in China since his visit, the changed political circumstances and contemporary discourse about China's political future, in order to evaluate the possible contributions Deweyan conception of democracy might make to China's pursuit of democracy in its current historical and cultural context. © 2011.
Source Title: Transactions of the Charles S Peirce Society
ISSN: 00091774
DOI: 10.2979/trancharpeirsoc.47.2.196
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