Modern Philosopher Kings: Lee Kuan Yew and the Limits of Confucian 'Idealistic' Leadership

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
File version
Author(s)
Patapan, H
Griffith University Author(s)
Primary Supervisor
Other Supervisors
Editor(s)
Date
2013
Size

416197 bytes

File type(s)

application/pdf

Location
License
Abstract

The paper explores the question of whether modern states, especially in Asia, need philosophical or 'ideological' bases for their founding and continuation. It takes as its case study Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew, who appeared to succeed in founding a modern prosperous state that avoided grand philosophical foundations in favour of 'performance'-security, stability and prosperity. The paper argues that a closer look at Lee's conception of leadership reveals a more complex picture. Lee's concern for the future prosperity of Singapore, and therefore his legacy, meant that he needed to secure what he calls 'idealistic leadership' that was essential yet lacking in Singapore. His recourse to 'Asian values', and especially Confucianism, was intended to provide such idealistic leadership. The lack of success of his Confucian initiatives reveals the inherent problems of Confucianism as a moral foundation for modern legitimacy and statebuilding, and the limits of performance for founding of modern nation-states.

Journal Title

European Journal of East Asian Studies

Conference Title
Book Title
Edition
Volume

12

Issue
Thesis Type
Degree Program
School
Publisher link
Patent number
Funder(s)
Grant identifier(s)
Rights Statement
Rights Statement

© 2013 Brill Academic Publishers. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal website for access to the definitive, published version.

Item Access Status
Note
Access the data
Related item(s)
Subject

Government and politics of Asia and the Pacific

Persistent link to this record
Citation
Collections