Professor Yongjin Zhang made a presentation at EISA Barcelona conference
28 September 2017
On 13-16 September, the 11th Pan-European Conference on International Relations organized by the European International Studies Association (EISA) was held in Barcelona, Spain.
Professor Yongjin Zhang made a presentation at one of the English School’s panels on 14 September. In his presentation entitled ‘Order and Justice in Confucian Moralpolitik: The Discourse of Wang Dao vs. Ba Dao’, Professor Zhang aims to show that order and justice are among the moral choices that constantly confront Confucian thinkers in ancient China in their grappling with the tensions between moral and ethical concerns and politics and statecraft in constructing orderly relations among states. The full paper, now uploaded on the EISA website, examines analytically two discourses in ancient China, that of the Wang Dao (the Kingly Way) and that of the Bao Dao (Hegemonic Ideal), as an ongoing conversation among Confucian thinkers across a three-hundred-year time span (520-221 BC), when the multi-state system in ancient China underwent fundamental transformation. They are probably the earliest discourses on order and justice in international relations, and arguably the most enduring one. Through such examination, the paper considers how the problematic relations between the ethical and the political are treated and tackled in Confucian moralpolitik and what lessons can be learned from the Confucian approach to moral intervention in inter-state politics.