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Introduction

  • Minhyuk HwangEmail author
Chapter
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Part of the Critical Political Theory and Radical Practice book series (CPTRP)

Abstract

The introductory chapter clarifies the basic aim and focus of the book: to introduce Fukuzawa Yukichi to Western political theorists, not as a figure in regional history, but as a universally important thinker who raised serious questions that both the East and the West should not ignore. First, Fukuzawa’s analysis of the significance of individual autonomy, progress, and liberal rule of law in developing his project of the East Asian enlightenment is addressed. Second, the chapter discusses Fukuzawa’s supposed “betrayal” of his early commitments due to his existential desire for Western recognition of Japan’s greatness. Third, it concludes with a discussion of the complex relationship between liberalism and progress in the East Asian context.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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