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Dr. WONG, Baldwin Bon-wah

Assistant Professor
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  • Research Fellow, Centre for Applied Ethics
  • Teaching Excellence Award (2021-22), Hang Seng University of Hong Kong




  • PhD (London School of Economics and Political Science)
  • PgCHE (London School of Economics and Political Science)
  • MA (University of York)
  • BBA (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Taught previously at:

  • Assistant Professor (Department of Social Science, Hang Seng University of Hong Kong)
  • Lecturer (Office of General Education, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • Honorary Assistant Professor (Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Hong Kong)


Courses Taught currently

GFVM1035 Freedom in Modern Society  

Teaching area(s):

Political Philosophy, Chinese Philosophy, Ethics, Applied Ethics, History of Political Thought

Research area(s):

Public Justification, Confucianism

Current project(s):



My research project is two-folded. One is on political philosophy, and another is on Chinese philosophy. Two projects are both about my core research question: how constitutional democracy can be stable in an era of political polarization. In the first project, I follow the view of the later Rawls that pluralism in justice is a pressing problem of constitutional democracy nowadays. While I agree with Rawls’s framework of political liberalism, I argue that current discussions focus too much on what reasons should be offered in public justification. I suggest that “civic deeds” play a crucial role in developing a relationship of mutual trust among citizens who endorse different conceptions of justice. Thus, my proposal of political liberalism centered upon the notion of civic deeds and rituals, rather than merely reasons and arguments. In the second project, I argue that Confucianism, a traditional ethical doctrine that is influential in East Asia, should endorse a conception of liberal neutrality. I disagree with numerous contemporary Confucians that Confucianism should use laws and policies to encourage Confucian virtues in society because this would intensify social division in a pluralistic society. This social division would, against the goodwill of Confucians, discourage people from appreciating the great value of Confucian virtues. Thus, I believe that the true contribution of Confucianism is not to propose a meritocratic-perfectionist theory of state, but rather to provide a code of etiquette that maintains the civility of the public sphere in a polarized society. Hence, Confucianism and political liberalism can be benefited from each other: while Confucianism should recognize how a neutral state can effectively address the problem of pluralism, political liberalism should also learn from the Confucian insight about civility and etiquette in politics.   

Selected output(s):

Journal Articles

  • “Famine, Affluence, and Confucianism: Reconstructing a Confucian Perspective on Global Distributive Justice”, Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy (forthcoming) (AHCI)
  • “Is it sectarian for a Rawlsian state to coerce Nozick? On Political Liberalism and the Sectarian Critique”, Philosophia (forthcoming) (AHCI)
  • “Accessibility, Pluralism, and Honesty: A Defense for the Accessibility Requirement in Public Justification”, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 25(2) (2022): 235-259 (ESCI)
  • “Let God and Rawls be friends: On the Cooperation between the Political Liberal Government and Religious Schools in Civic Education”, Journal of Applied Philosophy 38:5 (2021), 774-789 (AHCI, SSCI)
  • “Junzi living in liberal democracy: What role could Confucianism play in political liberalism?”, Philosophical Forum 52 (2021), 17-28 (AHCI)
  • “Church under Leviathan: On the Democratic Participation of Religious Organizations in an Authoritarian Society”, Journal of Religious Ethics 49:1 (2021), 68-89 (AHCI)
  • “Why should I respect you? A critique and a suggestion for the justification of mutual respect in contractualism”, Philosophical Forum 51(3) (2020): 261-278 (AHCI)
  • “Public Reason and Structural Coercion: In Defense of the Coercion Account as the Ground of Public Reason”, Social Theory and Practice 46(1) (2020): 231-255
  • “A non-sectarian comprehensive Confucianism? On Kim’s Public Reason Confucianism”, Journal of Social Philosophy 50(2) (2019): 145-162 (AHCI, SSCI), with the reply of Kim Sungmoon in the same issue
  •  “Conjecture and the Division of Justificatory Labour,” Res Publica 25 (2019): 119-125 (AHCI), with the reply of Matthew Clayton and David Stevens in the same issue


Book Review

  • “Book Review of Andrius Galisanka, John Rawls: The Path to A Theory of Justice”, Journal of Value Inquiry (forthcoming) (AHCI, SSCI)
  • “Book Review of Kim Sungmoon, Democracy after Virtue: Toward Pragmatic Confucian Democracy”, Philosophical Quarterly 70:279 (2020): 440-442 (AHCI)
  • “Book Review of Jon Mandle and David A. Reidy (ed.), A Companion to Rawls”, Journal of Moral Philosophy 13:6 (2016): 759-763 (AHCI, SSCI)

Selected Conference Presentations:

Invited talks:

  • “Liberalism, Identity and Education”, Department of International Education and Lifelong learning, the Education University of Hong Kong (25th October, 2021)
  • “The Division of Educational Labour between Confucian Education and Political Liberalism”, Centre for East Asian and Comparative Philosophy (CESCOP), the City University of Hong Kong (3rd May, 2019)
  • “Confucianism and Neutrality”, Department of Philosophy, the University of Pittsburgh (14th October, 2018)
  •  “Sincerity, Pluralism, and Honesty: A Critique of the Convergence Conception of Public Justification”, Department of Philosophy, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (30th October, 2017)


Conference organized:

  • “Non-traditional Human Rights and East Asian Philosophical Traditions” Conference, held in Hong Kong Baptist University (18th January, 2022)
  • 1st Oxford Comparative Political Philosophy Symposium, held in Blavantik School of Government, the University of Oxford (10th—12th July, 2019)
  • Confucian Political Theory, held in MANCEPT Workshop in Political Theory, 13th Annual Conference, the University of Manchester (11th—13th September, 2017)


Papers presented (selected):

  • “Should a Confucian support Liberal Neutrality?” American Political Science Association (APSA) 2021 Annual Meeting (29th September—3rd October, 2021)
  •  “‘Those smart guys will decide’: On the Problem of Estrangement in Confucian Meritocracy within a Pluralistic Context”, 2nd IVR Japan International Conference (21st November, 2020)
  • “Confucianism and Neutrality”, 16th Annual Meeting of the Association for Political Theory (APT) (18th—20th October, 2018)
  • “Public Reason as an Identifiable Signal”, European Consortium of Political Research (ECPR) General Conference (22nd—25th August, 2018)
  •  “Coercion, Collective Political Power and Public Justification”, Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) 75th Annual Conference (6th—9th April, 2017)

Selected Research Grant:

  • “Exploring the Idea of Public Reason, ”Faculty Development Scheme (FDS) (891,385 HKD), University Grants Committee (UGC), Hong Kong SAR (Previous Principal Investigator/Current Co-Investigator)
Knowledge Transfer Activities / Project

Invited to attend “Philosophy Night” (a public philosophy TV show) in RTHK TV31 as a guest

    • Philosophy of Sport (7th December 2020)
    • Rawls’s political philosophy (10th August 2020)
    • Social Contract Theories (Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau) (13th July 2020)
    • Family and Justice (14th October 2019)
    • Democracy (4th June 2018)
    • Left-wing Political Philosophy (16th July 2017)


Invited to be a guest of “Philosophy 5cm”, a public philosophy podcast

    • The analysis of power (7th August 2020)
    • The distribution of power and the interpretation of liberty (7th August 2020)


Videoed in the “Five Books Programme” in Chinese University of Hong Kong, recommending five books of contemporary political philosophy (15th October 2018)


Delivered public lectures

    • “What is State?”, organized by the I-Care Centre in Chinese University of Hong Kong (26th January 2018)
    • “The social ideal of a continuous progressive society—On J. S. Mill’s On Liberty” organized by the Book Club in Chinese University of Hong Kong (13th October 2017)