Goodnow was not the first, nor would he be the last, foreign academic to have their views appropriated in support of illiberal regimes. Recent controversies involving Daniel Bell, whom The Economist once directly compared to Frank Goodnow, and his new book The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy, and the 2010 book China’s Megatrends suggest that there are writers today who, like Goodnow, challenge accepted notions of the Chinese state and risk accusations of abetting authoritarianism.

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