This study is about the theory of Confucian political obligation. While researchers have offered different theories of political obligation in classical Confucianism, I argue that these accounts are problematic. The paper suggests that Confucian theory of political obligation is neither role-based, nor simply reciprocal, nor grounded in voluntary acceptance. In a nutshell, it is based on a special principle of gratitude. After comparing Confucian political obligation with liberal gratitude theory, I note this Confucian theory’s incompatibility with the liberal principle of voluntary choice. To accurately describe the theory of political obligation in classical Confucianism, I conclude that Confucian political obligation is a theory of paternalistic gratitude.
|Title of host publication||the Annual Conference of Midwest Political Science Association|
|Place of Publication||Chicago, United States|
|Number of pages||31|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
- Confucianism, Reciprocity, Gratitude, Paternalism, Political Obligation