Tuesday, February 01, 2011

February 3 The Harmonious Society

Our view of another country, itself made up of large numbers of independent individuals, is by nature vague, or false, or both, even for those paying attention. So with China. That doesn't mean it doesn't matter or that we shouldn't try. Today is an opportunity to do so.

The harmonious society, 和谐社会, is an abstraction and slogan capturing an engineered vision of Confucianism and a contented middle class. It is really not a bad idea, perhaps it is like 1950's America. But the intense pace of change in China, growth in GDP of about 10% yearly for 30 years, has strained that society.

Part of that engineering is evolving the role of law. It can support the government or challenge it, as it does here. Law professor Margaret Lewis studies the question and presents her analysis on the evolving role of law in China. Cosponsored by the NW China Council, the World Affairs Council and the UofO at the White Stag Building, Room 142/144, 70 NW Couch, noon-1:30 Free