#58 – A Confucian World Order?


event #58, Monday, March 20th, 2017



Roger AMES, academic director of Berggruen Institute’s Philosophy and Culture Centre, Humanities Chair Professor at Peking University

ZHAO Tingyang 赵汀阳, philosopher, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences





A perfect storm is brewing: climate change, food and water shortages, environmental degradation, pandemics, energy shortage, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, gross income inequities, and so on. An effective response to this human exacerbated predicament requires a radical change in values, intentions, and practices. The rise of China has precipitated a sea change in the world economic and political order, but what about the prevailing cultural order long dominated by a powerful liberalism? Confucian philosophy is being actively promoted both domestically and internationally by a collaboration of academic and political forces. Question: What impact will Confucianism—a philosophy that begins from the primacy of relationality rather than individualism—have on world culture in the ensuing decades?”


This event is organized in partnership with:



The Berggruen Institute’s mission is to develop foundational ideas and, through them, shape political, economic and social institutions for the 21st century. In the age of technology and globalization—as our traditions are challenged, new social orders are emerging and political institutions falter—critical analysis of our most fundamental beliefs and the systems founded on them is required.

Great Transformations are reshaping human life, social organization, and the world. These are epochal changes, not incremental, and are taking place now, in our lives and our children’s. The Berggruen Institute seeks to deepen understanding of these great transformations, the ethical responses they demand, the social decisions they make possible, and how they are seen from different civilizational perspectives:


  • Beyond Human: Science and technology, including especially artificial intelligence and bioengineering that can potentially redesign life itself.
  • Innovating Culture: Cultural change, including the influence of both globalization and creativity in science, art, and social life – and attempts to resist each.
  • Resilient Governance: The pursuit of more effective governance, including politics and social institutions.
  • Geo-Politics and the New Economy: The global intersection of geopolitics and economics, including possible transition beyond capitalism.


As an outwardly expansive and purposeful network, we bring together some of the best minds and most authoritative voices from across cultural and political boundaries to explore these fundamental questions of our time. Our objective is enduring impact on the progress and direction of societies around the world.



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