Daniel Bell was born in Montreal, educated at McGill and Oxford, has taught in Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai, and held research fellowships at Princeton and Stanford. He is currently Chair Professor of the Schwarzman Scholar Program at Tsinghua University, Beijing
In this lecture he outlined the thesis of his most recent book, The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy, in which he argues that China has developed a genuinely new approach to governance, rooted in its long history and at odds with the western concept that electoral democracy is the only legitimate form of government. He looked at the strengths and weaknesses of Chinese meritocracy, how it might be reformed and what the West might learn from the Chinese approach to governance.
In addition to his most recent work, previous books include: The Spirit of Cities: Why the Identity of a City Matters in a Global Age[co-authored with Avner de-Shalit], China’s New Confucianism: Politics and Everyday Life in a Changing Society, Beyond Liberal Democracy: Political Thinking for an East Asian Context, East Meets West: Human Rights and Democracy in East Asia and Communitarianism and Its Critics
He is series editor of a translation series by Princeton University Press that aims to translate the most influential and original works of Chinese scholars. He is also the editor of Confucian Political Ethics and coeditor of The East Asian Challenge for Democracy: Political Meritocracy in a Comparative Context (2013) . He writes widely on Chinese politics and philosophy for the media including the New York Times, Financial times, Global Times, Nanfengchuang, Worldpost, Project Syndicate, and the Guardian’s Comment Is Free blog. He has been interviewed in English, Chinese, and French. His articles and books have been translated in Chinese and twenty-two other languages