Retracing the Roots and Ideals of Confucian Principles of Governance: The Art of Regulating Governance Without Legal Rules in Chinese Societies

Posted: 16 Jan 2011

See all articles by Angus Young

Angus Young

Department of Accountancy & Law, Hong Kong Baptist University; German-Sino Institute of Legal Studies, Nanjing Univeristy; School of Law, Western Sydney University

Date Written: January 13, 2011

Abstract

Confucius was and still is one of the most eminent Chinese philosophers. Such is the importance of Confucius’s teachings; it had influenced all aspects of social life in Chinese societies. In the post-Enron, post-Worldcom, and post-Global Financial Crisis era there are raising doubts in the mantra of the so-called conventional wisdom about law and economic order. Whilst many recent publications offered solutions to those problems like advocating for more laws, rules or reforms in regulatory institutions to enhance the regulation of corporate governance. What Confucius advocated was a non-legal, social mode of regulation based on moral ideals that should be embedded into the minds of every person. Whilst this is an ancient concept from primitive societies, its relevance and merits could be seen in modern Chinese societies like Hong Kong. In essence, Confucian principles of governance build on relational and paternalistic order based on moral ideals.

Keywords: Confucius, Regulation, Corporate Governance, Morals

JEL Classification: G38, K22, K29

Suggested Citation

Young, Angus, Retracing the Roots and Ideals of Confucian Principles of Governance: The Art of Regulating Governance Without Legal Rules in Chinese Societies (January 13, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1740037 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1740037

Angus Young (Contact Author)

Department of Accountancy & Law, Hong Kong Baptist University ( email )

Kowloon
Hong Kong

German-Sino Institute of Legal Studies, Nanjing Univeristy ( email )

22 Hankou Road
Nanjing, Jiangsu 210093
China

School of Law, Western Sydney University ( email )

Parramatta
Australia

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