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Between Univerality and Negativity：Yan Fu’s and Zhang Taiyan’s Discourse of Nation-State
Discourse of Nation-State
Yan Fu and Zhang Taiyan are famous intellectuals in late imperial China. During that dramatic transition, they imagine China's future differently. In this thesis, I will discuss their discourse of nation-state and explain its ideological significance. I will also try to discuss their political thoughts separately in terms of universality and negativity and how they respond to the new global condition and reshape their ideas. My discussions surround three questions. In the section "What is Nation-State?" I will explore how Yan Fu and Zhang Taiyan understand nation-state as a political regime and the relationship between nation-state and people. The section "Towards the Shaping of National Identity" explains how Yan Fu and Zhang Taiyan perceive political community and how such a perception affects their option for the establishment of nation-state. In "Epistemology of Nation-state Discourse," I will illustrate the knowledge base of their discourse on nation-state, with the view of the political blueprints drawn from the above two questions. Finally, through a combined analysis of these questions, the similarities and differences between Yan Fu and Zhang Taiyan will surface.
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