recherche et action en sciences sociales

LIBEAC : Liberalism in Between Europe and China

Reflecting on the issues of EU-China relationships, the program aims at developing a new understanding of liberalism in its economic, political and social dimensions. It involves a comparative analysis of the cultural differences in its interpretation and of the political discrepancies in its enforcement, in particular with respect to economic, social and environmental rights in China and Europe in Modern times. It is a multidisciplinary project based on a comparative study of European and Chinese political philosophy and political economy, legal practice and philosophy of right. The project stands at the confluence of two major issues for the European Union, in terms of internal policies as well as external actions: 1/ the position and role of the European Union in the World and 2/ the present and future of Human Rights. The first issue, on liberal civil society and the various types of market-enhanced economies, brings concerns such as the World Trade Organization put forth recently when rebuking China’s application to be reckoned as a “market economy”. It relates to the new partnerships that the European Union is building with China in the globalized World and in the aftermath of the sovereign debt crisis. Our project is comparative as it focuses both on relationships between the European Union and China in particular, and accommodates viewpoints from China’s neighbors The second issue, involving the present enforcement and future potential implementation and/or revision of Human Rights concepts, is addressed by focusing principally on the political, legal and economic aspects of the concept of Liberalism, regarded as made of several traditions, from social liberalism to liberal theories of economics. The project thus aims at disclosing cultural and political differences in terms of interpretation and of enforcement of “Liberalism” in China. LIBEAC is geared towards finding useful criterion for EU decision-making and thus als means Liberalism for Action. Vice-Scientific Coordinator: Jean-Yves Heurtebise Email: jy.heurtebise[at] Website:
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