Dongxian Jiang is a political theorist and intellectual historian. His primary research interests lie in comparative political theory, the history of political thought, and pressing practical questions of democratic and international politics, including Western and non-Western perspectives on human rights, democracy, good governance, and political legitimacy. He is also interested in the transmission and traveling of political ideas between Western and non-Western societies and across divergent intellectual tradition. He holds a Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University.
Dongxian’s research is motivated by the defenses and challenges of liberal democratic values and institutions in non-Western societies. China has been the primary context for his theoretical reflection because its rapid rise and the Confucian tradition provide ample resources for critics of liberal democracy to propose and justify alternative political arrangements. His current book project combines an intellectual history of post-Maoist China, critical evaluations of important debates concerning Chinese political reform, and his normative defense of a representative government that can effectively constrain the state power and curb prevalent political domination in the Chinese context.
In addition to the book project, Dongxian has written and continues to focus on questions of global intellectual history, including the reception of Western conservative thinkers in contemporary China and its relationship to the revival of Confucianism. In future research, he plans to explore how early modern Western political thinkers were influenced by Chinese thought and institutions in their prescriptions for political reform in the European context, and how early twentieth-century Chinese intellectuals in turn reformulated traditional Confucian values through the lens of European political theory.
Dongxian has taught courses on modern Western political thought and Chinese politics. At Stanford, he plans to offer courses in the history of political thought that place the Western canon in conversation with non-Western traditions, and thematic courses on democratic theory that combine empirical and normative perspectives.