Confucian values have been introduced into international society through China’s adoption of a harmonious world (hexie shijie) foreign policy perspective this century. The paper opens with the observation that discord during transitional times awakens a certain existential quest for renewal. This was the case in both Confucius’ time and the present era of globalization in which threats to survival are transnational. The flourishing of philosophical schools in ancient China is matched today by the development of different approaches to world governance. This paper considers four: (1) hegemonic governance; (2) the United Nations system; (3) the European Union model; and (4) cosmopolitan global governance – all of which cross-reference one another showing inclusive capacities. To these, Confucian governance may be added as the fifth and most recent, even if the least tested of the contemporary concepts of world governance. Working with cosmopolitan global governance, Confucian governance remains inclusive of a respect for the UN, the instructive value of the EU model and an acknowledgement of the continued utility of US leadership in the wider scheme of international life. Two processes that have been instrumental in the dissemination of Confucian values in international society are (1) the rise of China, and (2) the congruence of its harmonious world Confucian value system with the four world governance concepts examined. The paper concludes that a global governance with Confucian tutelage would recommend education and human development to be a fundamental right and responsibility.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/rosita_dellios/39/