Political Authority and Resistance to Injustice: A Confucian Perspective

Kevin K W Ip*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Those who bear the burdens of injustice and oppression are entitled to act in ways contrary to existing laws and institutions to secure their own entitlements and those of others. This article aims to articulate a Confucian perspective on resistance against injustice. There are reasons for thinking that the notion of resistance is fundamentally at odds with Confucian political thought. In this article, I move beyond this simple conflict/compatibility model and explore the complex relationships between resistance and Confucianism. On one hand, some of Confucianism’s core commitments can be better attained in contemporary societies by allowing resistance; on the other, a Confucian perspective can offer insights into current discussions on the ethics of resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-101
Number of pages21
JournalPhilosophy and Social Criticism
Issue number1
Early online date15 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Confucianism
  • comparative political theory
  • injustice
  • political authority
  • resistance


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