East-West relations spark Professor’s new book


Professor Wayne Cristaudo … “East and West are eager to learn from the other”.

Professor Wayne Cristaudo … “East and West are eager to learn from the other”.

The acceleration of China-West relations in recent years has provided the catalyst for a new book co-edited by a Charles Darwin University academic.

Professor of Political Science Wayne Cristaudo is one of nine scholars to present a range of perspectives from Eastern and Western traditions in “Order and Revolt – debating the principles of Eastern and Western social thought”.

“On the one hand we have the holistic model of thought typified in the writings of Confucius with its emphasis on harmony, while on the other we have the revolutionary tradition, which has been so important to the dynamism of the West,” Professor Cristaudo said.

“And there is some overplay. Common to both East and West is a fundamental conviction by some thinkers that the preservation of social order and harmony is the central task of political philosophy.

“We also share a tradition that emphasises freedom over harmony, a tradition that gives rise to the unleashing of spontaneous energies in the hope of creating a better world than one that seeks to harmonise existing potencies.

“In essence the book debates the alternative priorities of order and revolt, harmony and spontaneity, in social life. It is an attempt to explore the significance of these concepts within the respective traditions.”

Professor Cristaudo said the book was a contribution to a larger discussion about values taking place between East and West, and as a theoretical framework for understanding challenges and problems common to both.

“The West and China are both struggling, which is why both are eager to learn from the other. Part of that learning is about different ways of understanding order and harmony.”

Professor Cristaudo is the author or editor of 17 books and has written numerous conference papers, reviews and articles. He was the Director of European Studies at the University of Hong Kong before taking up his role as Professor in Politics at CDU this year.

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