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The article is a study of Liang Qichao (1873-1929) by focusing on his theory of citizenship as laid out in the work Xinmin shuo (Discourse on the New Citizen). As a treatise on citizenship and nation-building, Xinmin shuo was the first of its kind in the history of Chinese political thought. Chinese studies specialists have typically treated the work as an illustration of a Confucian literati faced with the challenge from the West. Through a close reading of the text, the article argues that Liang had in fact made an original contribution to citizenship theory by addressing the inherent tension between citizenship and nation-building. The article therefore sheds new light on Liang's theory of citizenship by engaging it as an attempt to tackle the universalism- particularism dichotomy rather than the typical Confucianism-liberalism dichotomy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Political Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada., Email:

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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