Xiang explains the nature and depth of the legitimacy crisis facing the government of China, and why it is so frequently misunderstood in the West.

Arguing that it is more helpful to understand the quest for legitimacy in China as an eternally dynamic process, rather than to seek resolutions in constitutionalism, Xiang examines the understanding of legitimacy in Chinese political philosophy. He posits that the current crisis is a consequence of the incompatibility of Confucian Republicanism and Soviet-inspired Bolshevism. The discourse on Chinese political reform tends to polarize, between total westernization on the one hand, or the rejection of western influence in all forms on the other. Xiang points to a third solution - meeting western democratic theories halfway, avoiding another round of violent revolution.

This book provides valuable insights for scholars and students of China’s politics and political history.

chapter |8 pages


Legitimacy – East and West

chapter 1|18 pages

Legitimacy and state

chapter 2|26 pages

Legitimacy and oriental despotism

chapter 3|24 pages

Fictional legitimacy

chapter 4|19 pages

Presentation and representation

A republican dilemma

chapter 5|23 pages

The deeds legitimacy: economic performance

State and economy

chapter 6|23 pages

Externalizing the Mandate of Heaven

chapter |3 pages

Concluding remarks

Restarting cultural dialogue