Sam Crane

The Ancient Roots of Chinese Liberalism: Response

At The Useless Tree, Sam Crane responds to Liu Junning’s exploration of “The Ancient Roots of Chinese Liberalism” in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal: I am sure that serious students of Chinese philosophy...

Why the DPP Lost

Two nights ago we went to dinner at the home of Mr. Yao Chia-wen and his wife, Chou Ching-yu. They were both present at the creation of the DPP, early front-line activists in the formation of a viable political opposition and, ultimately, ruling party. Needless to say, they were frustrated by the election outcome. Their […]

Why the KMT Won Big

Many good points came up this morning at the meeting hosted here in Taibei by the Institute of National Policy Research and LSE. I will not attempt a full review of the various interpretations of the election results but, rather, simply pull out a number of ideas that particularly struck me. One big question was […]

Election Season in Taiwan

I am in Taibei, part of a delegation sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to observe the Legislative Yuan elections that will take place tomorrow. We got out to two campaign rallies tonight, but before I post those let me provide a bit of background for those who have not been following the action […]

A China Guy Goes To India (3): Religion

As we were preparing to set off on our India trip last month (earlier posts here and here) , sitting in a local airport, I happened to be reading a story in The Economist which referred to India as “the world’s most religious country.” I let those words flow through my brain and settle somewhere […]

A China Guy Goes To India (2): Caste and Democracy

Before I jump into today’s topic – caste and democracy – let me just note two newspaper stories that speak to my last China/India comparison. They both deal with the changing role of women in Indian society, which is, to my mind, a critical social dynamic in the interplay of tradition and modernity in India: […]

A China Guy Goes To India (1): Tradition and Modernity

Hello CDT readers. You may know me, Sam Crane, as the author of The Useless Tree blog. I teach Chinese politics and ancient philosophy at Williams College. But I have just returned from a trip to India and the CDT folks have invited me to guest blog here with some comparisons between China and India. […]



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