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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

12 February 2019
Former Undergraduate Coirle Magee has published an article, 'Using the Past to Legitimise the Present: The Portrayal of Good Governance in Chinese History Textbooks', in the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, co-written with Robert Weatherley, who supervised her undergraduate dissertation.

This article examines how Chinese middle-school history textbooks are written as a means of legitimising the rule of the Chine- se Communist Party (CCP), by carefully utilising China’s past. The authors identify (or perhaps “construct”) a sinified model of good governance in the textbooks that derives from the teachings of Con- fucius and Mencius, and the subsequent practises of certain revered Chinese emperors. This model is then applied to CCP leaders in the modern-era textbooks in order to cast them as diligently upholding a time-honoured Chinese tradition of legitimate rule.

Coirle Magee graduated from Cambridge with a First Class BA in Chinese Studies in 2015. Her undergraduate dissertation was supervised by Dr Weatherly who also taught her on the course C.20 - Contemporary Chinese society. Coirle is currently studying at University College London, where she is pursuing an MA in Policy Studies in Education.

Dr Robert Weatherley is an Affiliated Lecturer in East Asian Studies at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge. He is also a commercial lawyer with Mills & Reeve LLP and a founding member of the firm’s China Desk.

A copy of the article is available online.