Political Meritocracy in Comparative Historical Perspective Conference

November 20, 2018

As part of their 2017 HGI grant award, Peter Bol, Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and James Hankins, Professor of History, hosted a conference on "Political Meritocracy in Comparative Historical Perspective" at the Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University on November 1-2, 2018. The conference brought together Chinese and Western experts in political theory and the history of political thought to discuss how to improve the moral and intellectual qualities of governing elites and how better to integrate governing elites with the populations they are meant to serve. Presentation topics included, "Virtue Politics in Renaissance Italy," "The Literati, Talet, and Virtue in the Middle Period," "Merit and Theodicy," "Meritocracy from a Global Perspective," "Technical Merit, Moral Virtue and Bureaucratic Hierarchy," and more, with 14 sessions over the two-day conference.

The project continues into the spring semester with a conference at the Harvard Center Shanghai in March 2019.

Nov Conference