OMNES : The Journal of multicultural society

OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural Society - Vol. 7 , No. 2

[ Special Issue ]
OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural Society - Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 1-40
ISSN: 2093-5498 (Print)
Print publication date Jan 2017
Received 07 Dec 2016 Revised 08 Dec 2016 Accepted 13 Jan 2017

Similarities and Differences in East Asian Confucian Culture: A Comparative Analysis
Min-Hua Huang ; Shu-Hsien Chang
Director of the Center for East Asia Democratic Studies and an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science in National Taiwan University (
M.I.C.E. Marketing Management in National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism


In East Asia, Confucianism has long been regarded as the cultural basis for social norms and political order. In the past literature, many scholars have argued that the special nature of Confucian culture is an important factor hindering the modernization of East Asian countries. However, rapid modernization in the past two decades has shown that East Asia is not limited in its modernization by its cultural features. In this paper, the authors explore how the effects of modernization and democratization affect Confucian values in East Asian. Using data from the latest wave of the Asian Barometer Survey data in nine East and Southeast Asian countries, the authors find that modernization and democratization might attenuate Confucianism, but this trend is actually transformative instead of linear, meaning that Confucianism may be transformed into a post-modern culture that offers spiritual well-being and continues to guide the future progress of human civilization.

Keywords: Confucianism, modernization, social structure, cultural evolution, socioeconomic change

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Biographical Note

Min-Hua Huang received the Ph. D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan in 2004. He is currently the Director of the Center for East Asia Democratic Studies and an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science in National Taiwan University. His main research interests include democratization, public opinion research, political culture, and political methodology. E-mail:

Shu-Hsien Chang received the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Electronics from the University of Liverpool in 1993. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Hospitality and M.I.C.E. Marketing Management in National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism. His main research interests include research method, public opinion research, public policy, human resource management, and convention planning and management.