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Wang Hui

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Wang Hui

This is the moment of the collapse of “World History,” and at the same time the moment of rethinking world history.

In the aftermath of the Cold War, democratic political systems did not undergo any significant formal changes, yet democracy at the social level is in crisis here and there. In China, which still maintains the socialist system, while the system and form of government has also not undergone fundamental change, society has been so powerfully transformed that there is constant discussion about just what kind of society it is. The crisis in political legitimation is a consequence of the breakdown of representation within the political system, that is, the separation of the political and the social. Then, why have both of these twentieth-century socio-economic systems fallen into the crisis of equality? In this lecture, Wang Hui offers another inquiry on the question: equality of what?

Wang Hui is a Professor and expert of intellectual history at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and a notable intellectual belonging to the new Chinese Left, who pushes for a more democratic China. At the same time he has criticized the way in which the West has patented what is to be understood as universal, and through numerous articles, books and essays Wang has discussed differences and similarities between the social, political and intellectual currents in China and the rest of the world. Wang Hui has been named one of the 100 foremost intellectuals in the world by Foreign Policy, and he has held visiting professorates at universities such as Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley and Bologna. Among his latest books in English are China from Empire to Nation-State, The politics of imagining Asia and The end of the revolution: China and the limits to
modernity. In 2013 he was awarded the prestigious Luca Pacioli award alongside Jürgen Habermas.

Litteraturhuset Wergeland Universalisme 2014

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