SLIDES | Chinese Conceptions of Power and Authority: new perspectives

Co-presented with the China Studies Centre and Sydney Ideas

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Power and authority are key conceptions in Western political philosophy, as in Chinese political thought.

Professor Yu Keping will explain the meaning of both in the Chinese context, traditionally and currently. He will highlight the distinction between legitimate authority and legal power, in an exploration of the particular relationship between the two and the ways by which power is transformed into authority. He will compare the conceptions in their Chinese and Western contexts.

Professor Yu will look closely at the sources and nature of power and authority, and address the question of what kind of power and authority is needed for modern democratic governance in China and elsewhere.

keping-yuYu Keping is the new Chair of Politics, Professor and Dean at the School of Government, Peking University, Beijing, former Deputy President of the Central Compilation & Translation Bureau, and founding Director of PKU Research Centre for Chinese Politics. His major fields include political philosophy, comparative politics, globalization, civil society, governance and politics in China. Among his many books are Essays on Modernizing State Governance (Beijing, 2015), Globalization and Changes in China’s Governance (Brill, 2013), Governance and Rule of Law in China (ed., Brill, 2012) and Democracy is a Good Thing (Brookings, 2010). As a leading intellectual and advocate of democratic governance in China, Professor Yu has a number of honorary titles at many universities and was selected as one of the “30 most influential figures in the past 30 years since the reform in China” in 2008 and ranked in the “2011 Global Top 100 Thinkers” by Foreign Policy in the US. Recently, Professor Yu was selected as the “Most Influential Scholar of 2015” by the Chinese News Weekly.