This paper examines the comparative suitability of Chinese and Western European philosophies of power vis-a-vis globalization. The authoress argues that the patent feebleness of the modern European state represents the demise of the post-Enlightenment model of power, one based on uniform, hierarchically organized standards of formal rationality, and she contrasts this with China's pursuit of steerability as based upon a stratified system of logics that deliberately hearkens to divergent standards of rationality. The authoress proposes that to govern in the era of globalization means not to sniff out irrationalities as within the Enlightenment formula, but to build institutional and mental bridges between a system's differing rationalities and topographies at both the micro and macro levels. She also offers an analysis of Russia's ongoing radical pursuit of the Enlightenment paradigm, and notes that the weakly 'theoretized', flexible practice of the English world's utilitarianism and pragmatism can be treated as a suitable option for a globalized world - an option deprived, however, of the intellectual seductiveness of the Asian philosophy of power. In the later case, the epistemology rather than axiology is a decisive dimension.
J. Staniszkis, Uniqwersytet Warszawski, Instytut Socjologii, ul. Karowa 18, 00-324 Warszawa, Poland
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