Daniel A. Bell will be joining a panel of expert faculty on Monday, Oct. 19, to discuss his book, The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy. The panel will take place in Sanford 04 from 5-6:30 p.m.

Over the past three decades, China has evolved a system in which leaders are hand-picked based on their abilities and virtues, rather than elected through a participatory democratic process. In his book, Bell argues that this Chinese-style meritocracy has many advantages over electoral democracy, and can help remedy some of its key flaws.

During the discussion, the panelists will explore the advantages and pitfalls of political meritocracy and whether it can be successfully combined with electoral democracy.

Panelists will include:

  • Daniel A. Bell, author of The China Model, Chair Professor of the Schwarzman Scholars program at Tsinghua University in Beijing and Director of the Berggruen Philosophy and Culture Center
  • Loubna El Amine, Assistant Professor, Department of Government and Faculty Fellow, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, Georgetown University
  • William Keech, Research Professor of Political Economy, Department of Political Science, Duke University
  • Judith Kelley, Kevin D. Gorter Professor of Public Policy and Political Science and Senior Associate Dean, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University
  • Edmund Malesky, Associate Professor of Political Economy, Department of Political Science, Duke University

Mac McCorkle, associate professor of the practice at the Sanford School, will moderate the panel.

The discussion is co-sponsored by the Duke Center for International Development (DCID) at Sanford, Polis (The Center for Politics, Leadership, Innovation and Service), Duke’s Department of Political Science, the Center for International Studies, the Kenan Institute for Ethics and the Asian Pacific Institute.

Please RSVP online.

“Bell . . . has written a fascinating study. Open-minded readers will find it equips them with a more intelligent understanding of Chinese politics and, no less valuable, forces them to examine their devotion to democracy.” – Clive Cook, Bloomberg View

To borrow a copy of the book before the panel, please email Joe Tham, visiting professor at DCID, at

For background, please see the following:

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