A Discussion of Daniel A. Bell’s The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy
Date of Issue2016
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
China, also known as “the People’s Republic of China,” is indisputably the world’s most populous country and also a rising superpower on the world economic and political stage. In The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2015), Daniel A. Bell argues that China also represents a distinctive “model of governance” that is neither liberal democracy nor authoritarianism—a “political meritocracy.” Expanding on themes developed in a number of previous books, Bell outlines the logic of this “model;” compares it, rather favorably, to liberal democracy, especially as a regime well suited to Chinese history, culture, and political experience; and also considers, briefly, its more general relevance to the politics of the 21st century. The issues he raises are relevant to students of comparative politics, democratic theory, world politics, and U.S. foreign policy. And so we have invited a range of political scientists to comment.
The China Model
Perspectives on Politics
© 2016 American Political Science Association. This paper was published in Perspectives on Politics and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of American Political Science Association. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1537592715003291]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.