Confucian Culture and Competition Law in East Asia, Jingyuan MA et Mel MARQUIS

MA Jingyuan and MARQUIS Mel

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This book, co-authored by Jingyuan Ma and Mel Marquis, looks at an important but often-neglected area in the competition policy discourses—culture. It focuses on Confucian ethical doctrines, more in a relative and not characteristic way, and its influence on the development of competition law and institutions in China, Japan and Korea. In order to demonstrate the links between the Confucian tradition and modern institutions and policies, this book discusses various dimensions of Confucian cultural influence—namely, business culture, “corporate” culture, political-bureaucratic culture, “litigation culture” and legal culture. Through this unique approach, the book aims to give readers a deeper understanding of the features observed in these jurisdictions that distinguish them from the typical patterns in major Western jurisdictions.

The book can be divided into eight chapters. After a short summary of the important points in Chapter 1, Chapter 2 gives an overview of the term “Confucianism” and well-established Confucian principles. Chapter 3 discusses the business culture and identifies the characteristics that may be considered in the process of designing and implementing competition law. Chapter 4 examines the corporate culture and explains how these features can help to promote corporate compliance with competition law. Chapter 5 explores the bureaucratic characteristics, questions this model and suggests some practical improvements. Chapter 6 focuses on private enforcement and explains the reasons why private actions have been under development in these countries. Chapter 7 turns to the trends toward criminalization of cartel conduct and introduces a historical analysis of the relatively limited progress in the three concerned countries. Chapter 8 is the conclusion part.

As suggested in this unprecedented work, the introduction and implementation of competition law in East Asia is a two-sided cultural adaptation. On the one hand, because of the lack of “competition culture” in these countries, there are challenges in incorporating the competition law and cultivating such a culture so that it becomes deeply embedded and shapes commercial behavior. On the other hand, the process of legal transplants in these countries is largely influenced by local culture, and their differences with Western norms can provide helpful explanations for the special characteristics of law enforcement in these countries. For those interested in competition law and economics in Asia, comparative law, East Asian studies and political science, this book is strongly recommended as a must-read.