In 2001, China’s Ministry of Education launched a new graduate program in public administration at twenty-four universities around the country, with the explicit goal of improving management and policy-making skills in the public sector. From the beginning, these professional training schools sought guidance on curriculum design and educational organization from comparable schools in the United States, such as Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. For understandable historical and political reasons, they failed to explore their own Confucian past, to draw lessons from a critical examination of the traditional role of “scholar-officials” in Chinese government. This paper suggests, however, that only by integrating the technocratic aspects of a KSG education with the ethical orientation of scholar-officials can the Chinese provide for the requisites of public administration in a future democratic society.


Winston, Kenneth. "Advisors to Rulers – Or, What the Kennedy School of Government Can Learn from Chinese Scholar-Officials, and Vice Versa." KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP05-018, February 2005.