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Short Summary

Inasmuch as some regard Liberalism as indeed being a Western Ideology, some structural correlation is often assumed between Economic Liberalism and Political Liberalism, as well as between Capitalism and Democracy: it goes at a par with the assumption that the more developed the economy in one country, the freer the persons living in this country. Now, does Liberalism truly work as a Western Ideology? And, in any case, is this correlation stable, in particular in the case of non-Western economies? Japan has been the first example, in the Meiji times, to face this dilemma. South Korea and Taiwan followed. And China is the most significant example in our times. If Liberalism works both at the level of expected economic welfare for the people and of political rights that it endows people with, shall we expect to observe such correlation in China as well? Is China an exception to the general “rule”, regarding its peculiar cultural background (notably its Confucian heritage) or is China a counter-example demonstrating that there is nothing as such a Rule, i.e. that the correlation between economic and social liberty purported by Liberalism is merely a matter of belief?

This symposium is participated by researchers belonging to the Framework of European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University.

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