Wednesday, 15 January 2020

How to Make the Perfect Citizen? Redefining Civic Virtue in China’s Social Credit System

“How to make the perfect citizen?” This question might have crossed the mind of the Chinese government officials who have formulated the idea of a Social Credit System. After presenting Social Credit Systems in China’s public and private sectors (Part I), the presentation claims that the Social Credit System represents a new form of citizenship governance, termed as “cybernetic citizenship” (Part II). Liav Orgad provides normative standards to distinguish the Chinese system from Western forms of cybernetic citizenship (Part III), and shows the manner in which civic virtue is instrumentalized in China, both in content (“what” it is) and in form (“how” to cultivate it) (Part IV). On the whole, the talk argues that the nature of the Chinese Social Credit System redefines the institution of citizenship and warns against similar patterns that are mushrooming in the West.

Prof. Liav Orgad is Head of the Research Group “International Citizenship Law” at the WZB, Director of the Research Group “Global Citizenship Governance” at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, the European University Institute (EUI), Faculty Member at the Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies, and Associate Professor at the Lauder School of Government Diplomacy and Strategy, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya.