China’s modernisation: From daring reforms to a modern Confucian revival of traditional values

  • Jana S. Rošker University of Ljubljana
Keywords: Chinese modernisation, ideologies, modern Confucianism, capitalism, traditional values


China’s modernisation did not represent a “natural” process, i.e. a process that would be defined merely by the internal dynamics of the autochthonous development of Chinese society. This article investigates the specific features of modernisation processes in China. In this framework, it deals with a series of consecutive phases that lasted for a few decades each and that were – each in their own way – connected either to the specifics of Chinese tradition or with the problems of accepting and transforming “non-Chinese” forms of production, reproduction and life styles. The author analyses the ideological background of these process and their integration into the world of modern capitalism, clearly demonstrating that it was often accompanied by traditional Confucian ethics, which have been proven in Japan to be harmoniously compatible with the demands and often unbearable conditions of early capitalism.