Democracy and socialism are two important concepts that exercise a profound influence on how people around the world conceptualize politics and public life. The world suffered an intellectual loss when democracy was turned into the equivalent of multiparty elections, while socialism was defined by the Eastern bloc strictly in the Marxist-Leninist framework to mean a political system with a single ruling communist/worker’s party. Both democracy and socialism contain much more expansive meanings to enlighten our understanding of political diversities around the world. While democracy should be broadened to encompass the norms and beliefs and the accompanying institutional structures to ensure that the government serves the people’s interests, socialism should be taken to mean the various policy positions that prioritize social equality and equity, among others. China represents an apposite case in our efforts to bring sufficient width into the substantive understanding of these two concepts.
About the Speaker
Zhengxu Wang is a Distinguished Professor at the Department of Political Science, School of Public Administration of Zhejiang University in China. Prior to this, he was Distinguished Professor at Fudan University’s School of International Relations and Public Affairs. He obtained his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan, and subsequently obtained academic experiences in the National University of Singapore and the UK’s University of Nottingham, where he served as Associate Professor at its School of Contemporary Chinese Studies and Senior Fellow and Acting Director of its China Policy Institute. His research interests are comparative politics, Chinese politics, and empirical political science theories.
About the Chair
Rajiv Ranjan teaches at the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Delhi, and is an Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi. He is trained in Chinese language and previously taught international politics at Shanghai University, China. He has co-authored Jindai Dongfang Guojia de Biange, 《近代东方国家的变革》, Jinan University Press, China, 2020, and also co-edited China and South Asia: Changing Regional Dynamics, Development and Power Play published by Routledge in 2021.
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