Martin Powers

Martin Powers

Martin Powers is Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan. He has written three books on the history of social justice in China. Two of these won the Levenson Prize for best book in pre-1900 Chinese Studies.

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Latest from Martin Powers

Opinion | US-China conflict? Not really – with respect to freedom, both nations share a common heritage

On paper today, both countries accept equality and the people’s happiness as ideals.; working towards those goals is more a matter of policy than ideology, writes Martin Powers.

On paper today, both countries accept equality and the people’s happiness as ideals.; working towards those goals is more a matter of policy than ideology, writes Martin Powers.

US-China conflict? Not really – with respect to freedom, both nations share a common heritage
8 Oct 2021 - 5:33AM
Opinion | Joe Biden promotes liberal values, but could learn a lesson or two from Imperial China

US foreign policy establishment’s embrace of ‘clash of civilisations’ narrative encourages guilt by association, a legal fiction abandoned in China 2,000 years ago.

US foreign policy establishment’s embrace of ‘clash of civilisations’ narrative encourages guilt by association, a legal fiction abandoned in China 2,000 years ago.

Joe Biden promotes liberal values, but could learn a lesson or two from Imperial China
24 Jul 2021 - 5:00PM
Asian Angle | The West portrays itself as a defender of human rights, but does it still have a right to moral leadership?

The US, Britain and European nations have a history of ‘weaponising’ human rights. Throughout late imperial history, China has rarely blamed other nations, their religion or race, for domestic problems

The US, Britain and European nations have a history of ‘weaponising’ human rights. Throughout late imperial history, China has rarely blamed other nations, their religion or race, for domestic problems

The West portrays itself as a defender of human rights, but does it still have a right to moral leadership?
4 Mar 2021 - 6:32AM
Opinion | Could Biden’s plan for unity in the US help patch relations with China?

Ties between Beijing and Washington frayed under Trump, but the new president’s goals and ideals are in many way similar to those of China past and present.

Ties between Beijing and Washington frayed under Trump, but the new president’s goals and ideals are in many way similar to those of China past and present.

Could Biden’s plan for unity in the US help patch relations with China?
18 Feb 2021 - 11:16AM
Opinion | From China, France and Thomas Jefferson: history lessons for Donald Trump and Republicans on aristocratic excess

History shows that holding public servants accountable is essential to control corruption, but elections are insufficient to check a rogue leader.

History shows that holding public servants accountable is essential to control corruption, but elections are insufficient to check a rogue leader.

From China, France and Thomas Jefferson: history lessons for Donald Trump and Republicans on aristocratic excess
21 Nov 2020 - 7:14AM
Opinion | How the coronavirus pandemic exposed the dark side of Western democracy

It is no longer reasonable to claim that one ideology always generates good outcomes while all others lead to misery and death.

It is no longer reasonable to claim that one ideology always generates good outcomes while all others lead to misery and death.

How the coronavirus pandemic exposed the dark side of Western democracy
13 Oct 2020 - 9:08PM
Opinion | In Hong Kong, the US and Britain, the truth about ‘liberty’ will set you free

For most of British history, liberty meant special privileges enjoyed by groups. Groupthink shaped policy in colonial Hong Kong and Western democracies did not seriously object even when human rights norms were violated.

For most of British history, liberty meant special privileges enjoyed by groups. Groupthink shaped policy in colonial Hong Kong and Western democracies did not seriously object even when human rights norms were violated.

In Hong Kong, the US and Britain, the truth about ‘liberty’ will set you free
18 Aug 2020 - 10:03AM
Opinion | In the US, China-bashing is rooted in myths of Western superiority

Across the centuries, Europe propagated anti-Chinese stereotypes as a response to the perceived threats to European might.

Across the centuries, Europe propagated anti-Chinese stereotypes as a response to the perceived threats to European might.

In the US, China-bashing is rooted in myths of Western superiority
24 Jun 2020 - 12:48PM