Volume 17, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0957-6851
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9838
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This article examines the analogous views of liberal Chinese rights scholars during the late Qing and post-Mao eras. The author identifies thinkers from both periods who have argued fervently in favour of a rights (rather than duties) based society in which human rights are the birth right of all human beings irrespective of age, gender or class. In both cases, scholars have challenged a predominantly illiberal state orthodoxy on rights, Confucian during the late Qing and Marxist during the current era. Significantly, however, it is only during the contemporary period that liberal rights thinkers have impacted on the official position. Whereas late Qing scholars failed to convince the state to adopt a more universalist, rights-oriented perspective, China’s current crop of rights thinkers are having more success in this regard.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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