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As the mainstream ideology, Confucian harmony deeply influences ways of thinking and social life in the East. Contemporary China has experienced quite a radical change since the Xīnhài Revolution in 1911. It also marked the re-examination of Confucianism, i.e. the development of New Confucianism. New Confucianism needs to encourage China to fit the modern and global context. Therefore, the revival of Confucian harmony must remake itself to fit the modern world. A certain degree of convergence between Confucian harmony and liberalism, the mainstream ideology in the West, is necessary. Personal improvement is a hotly disputed idea among Chinese Confucians and Western liberals because transformation of public ethics is closely related to transformations of the self. This paper argues the importance of integration between harmony and liberalism. What is important is to explore how each tradition can shed light on theoretical and practical issues regarding harmony between the individual and the community, rather than individual sovereignty over communal claims in ideological studies.
The following paper strives to (1) present the reader with the results of my preceding book on the subject (Eder 2014) and to (2) review the trends that had been predicted therein. It provides a concise analysis of the Sino-Russian relationship’s history, an account of post-Soviet regional energy projects, and an analysis and interpretation of the mainland Chinese discourse on the impact of the Central Asian energy issue on this relationship. The issue has been broadly discussed as a possible source of friction since the global financial and economic crisis. Chinese authors predicted that a great deal of co-ordination and compromise would be needed because of Russian sensitivities but conveyed confidence that their country’s ‘inevitable’ expansion of crucial energy relations would be manageable. The book thus predicted a successful handling of competing interests in the short term but still foresaw a challenge to the ‘strategic partnership’ through the gradually shifting power balance. Over the last 18 months, China has advanced even faster and more comprehensively than anticipated and already overshadows Russia. Now undergirded by a more substantial political strategy, it quietly but resolutely pushes Moscow (and all its schemes of post-Soviet re-integration) aside. Managing ensuing frustrations and more blatant counter-measures will likely test the resolve and aptitude of Chinese policy-makers earlier than expected.
The impressive economic development of East Asian and Southeast Asian countries, like China, Japan, South Korea, or Singapore, is often described as the ‘Asian economic miracle’. The transition from a less developed economy to an industrialised country and successful integration into the global economy within a relatively short period of time are characteristics of the economic development process. Academic research is dominated by a general agreement on the causal relationship between economic development and international trade. The research goal of this paper is to analyse the impact of the level of economic development on the degree of international trade in the economies of China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand. The applied research model does not follow the traditional research mainstream but rather introduces relative shares of GDP-related industrial output and of manufactures exports by adopting national as well as international perspectives instead. Descriptive trend analysis, correlation analysis and regression analysis are conducted in order to test the hypotheses. The results do not support conventional academic wisdom. A statistically reasonable causality between the level of economic development, in terms of relative industrial output, and the degree of international trade, in terms of relative industrial exports, could not be confirmed.
In this day and age a continuous flow of ideas and culture takes place, which is part of the globalisation process. These exchanges influence the development of a transcultural literature. Murakami Haruki is not only a transcultural writer, but one of the most popular and internationally acclaimed authors of contemporary Japanese literature who has changed the literary scene in Japan since the publication of his debut novel Kaze no uta o kike (Hear the Wind Sing). Murakami has experimented with postmodern expressions and eventually developed his own writing style, which integrates elements of Western cultures into his works. This paper focuses on the author’s transcultural strategy, which is often reflected in his choice of the setting and time frame, the frequent mentioning of cultural consumer goods and linguistic features such as the utilisation of loanwords. In particular, references to music and literature play a major role in Murakami’s publications. This paper analyses how and to what extent transculturality influences the characters, their actions, and the storyline on the basis of the short story “Nemuri” (Sleep) published in 1989. In the process it is concluded that, above all, these references underpin aspects such as the search for identity, the escape into ‘another world’, and the rejection of societal norms and values.
In the first part of the twentieth century, some members of the French- or Chinese-educated but indigenous religious, economic, and political elite in southern Vietnam (Cochin-China) intensively engaged in spirit-medium practices. Many of them set up or joined the new Cao Đài religion and its spirit-medium séances. Integrating in their pantheon religious figures from Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, and even Catholicism, Cao Đài leaders deliberately challenged the orthodoxies at that time, tactically undermining the local religious elites, but also proposing a universal theological redemption and moral reform through the publication of their new set of spirit medium messages. Very quickly after the creation of Caodaism in 1926, various groups branched off, borrowing and adapting this reformed and orthodox posture within the Cao Đài community itself. While the Cao Đài canon may be well-known to scholars, Cao Đài community journals have yet to be examined in detail, although they often served as incubators for the Cao Đài quest for orthodoxy and a modern path to salvation. Based on archival studies and field research trips to the relevant areas, this paper aims to show how collective and individual actors of these Cao Đài groups have mobilised institutional, rhetorical, ideological, media-based, and other resources to assure and legitimise their authority. Simultaneously, we will see how the Cao Đài religion emerged from very unique kinds of “redemptive societies,” combining both Western and Eastern esotericism to articulate new Asian expressions of orthodoxy, universal values, and cosmopolitanism.
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