In his path-breaking essay that investigates the rise of judicial review in democratic Taiwan and South Korea, Tom Ginsburg presents the distinctive style of judicial review practiced by both countries in terms of “Confucian constitutionalism,” at the core of which is the practice of constitutional review as remonstrance. The seminar examines whether the model of Confucian constitutionalism is still relevant in Korea, especially in light of the Constitutional Court’s recent decision to uphold the motion to impeach the president rather than merely offering remonstrance or warning. The seminar also raises a question what it means to practice liberal constitutionalism in a society of the Confucian heritage and discusses how East Asians can practice democratic rights and citizenship in ways consistent with their liberal commitment as well as their Confucian culture.
Professor Kim’s recent journal article “From Remonstrance to Impeachment: A Curious Case of ‘Confucian Constitutionalism’ in South Korea” (Law & Social Inquiry 44:3 ) offers a prior glimpse of the seminar.
Prof. Sungmoon Kim is professor of political theory and director of the Center for East Asian and Comparative Philosophy at City University of Hong Kong. He received a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Maryland at College Park and taught previously at the University of Richmond. His research interests include comparative political theory, democratic and constitutional theory, and history of East Asian political thought and his essays have appeared in the journals such as American Political Science Review, British Journal of Political Science, Constellations, Contemporary Political Theory, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, History of Political Thought, Journal of the History of Ideas, Journal of Politics, Law & Social Inquiry, Philosophy East and West, Philosophy & Social Criticism, and The Review of Politics among others. Kim is the author of four books — Confucian Democracy in East Asia: Theory and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2014), Public Reason Confucianism: Democratic Perfectionism and Constitutionalism in East Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2016), Democracy after Virtue: Toward Pragmatic Confucian Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2018), and Theorizing Confucian Virtue Politics: The Political Philosophy of Mencius and Xunzi (Cambridge University Press, 2020). In 2016-2017, Kim was a Berggruen Fellow at Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.