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Coronavirus, néo-conservatisme et totalitarisme : le cas de la Chine

Abstract : “A crisis forces us back to the questions themselves and requires from us either new or old answers, but in any case direct judgments. A crisis becomes a disaster only when we respond to it with preformed judgments, that is, with prejudices. Such an attitude not only sharpens the crisis but makes us forfeit the experience of reality and the opportunity for reflection it provides.”[1] Applied to the current pandemic crisis, this quote implies two things. First, there is a need to question the answers given to the crisis by governments and societies. Then, we must try to take advantage of this “experience of truth” to better reflect upon our research objects. These interconnected needs lead us to try to assess not only the Chinese government’s “management of the crisis”, but also the way the Chinese society reacted to both the crisis and its management. This crisis also serves as an indicator of a certain number of ongoing phenomena in Chinese society that are generally neglected or perhaps misinterpreted. However, this “new eye” cannot ignore the theoretical frameworks and the methodological debates that dominated scholarship before the crisis. When Hannah Arendt talks of prejudices, she refers to these frameworks and debates. As far as contemporary interpretations of China (and elsewhere in Asia) go two main trends monopolize the scene. First, neoconservatism considers that the difference of political regimes between democratic countries and non-democratic ones explains the differences between societies in almost all domains of social life. Second, culturalism reduces variations between societies to specific and irreducible cultural traits. The central point of this text will be to show that these “prejudices” prevent us from understanding and explaining the responses to the crisis. Because the crisis is global but reveals very diverse attitudes and modes of management, a comparison with other societies, particularly those in European countries, is necessary and could allow progress to be made in overcoming these prejudices. This short text does not aim to exhaust the subject, but rather to open up a few avenues for research.
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Submitted on : Friday, February 11, 2022 - 5:15:18 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 28, 2022 - 10:38:02 AM

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Jean-Louis Rocca. Coronavirus, néo-conservatisme et totalitarisme : le cas de la Chine. Les Dossiers du CERI, CERI, 2020. ⟨hal-03566819⟩

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