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LUCIP Lecture Series: Elena Ziliotti, A Democratic Conception of Confucian Leadership

Wednesday 2 June 2021

All interested are cordially invited to the next Spring lecture of the Centre of Intercultural Philosophy on Kaltura, on Wednesday, June 2, 3:30-5:30 P.M. Dutch Time


n the past years, Confucian democracy has come to the fore in democratic theory as a normative alternative to Western liberal models of democracy. Yet, the question of how the Confucian idea of virtuous political leadership can be practised in a democratic context remains one of the main challenges for the Confucian democratic project. If it is reasonable to assume that Confucian democracy is not leaderless, it is unclear how the idea of Confucian virtuous leadership should inform a Confucian democracy. This talk reconstructs a Confucian conception of political leadership that is attuned to democratic ideals and institutions. This complements contemporary Confucian theories of democracy, but it also offers new insights for Western democratic theories that overlook the importance of leaders’ virtues in democratic politics. 


Elena Ziliotti is Assistant Professor of Ethics and Political Philosophy and a member of the 2020-2029 Gravitation project “The Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies”. Within the Gravitation project, Elena is affiliated to the research line “The Future of a Free and Fair Society”, where she acts as the research line co-coordinator. Before joining TU Delft, Elena was an International Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Philosophy at Wuhan University (China) and a recipient of the 2019 China International Postdoctoral Exchange Fellowship. She completed her PhD in philosophy in 2018 under the King’s College London and National University of Singapore Joint PhD Programme. Elena completed a MA in philosophy at the University of Barcelona and received a MA (Cum laude) and BA in philosophy from the University of Parma.

Elena’s area of research is dedicated to Western democratic theory, Confucian political theory, and the impact of new technologies on fundamental political concepts. Elena has strong interests in epistemic approaches to democracy, the concept of democratic leadership, political meritocracy, and cross-cultural contemporary political issues.
Since working at TU Delft and the Gravitation project 2020-29 ‘Ethics of Socially disruptive technology’, Elena has begun investigating the challenges that new technologies pose to Western democratic theory and Confucian political theory.

Dr. Elena Ziliotti
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