The Constitutionalist Thought and the Emergence of Nationalism in China and the Ottoman Empire: A Comparative Perspective

In this article, the political philosophy of Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao, who are the leading Chinese constitutionalists, and of the Young Ottoman thought, are presented in a comparative perspective. Being the products of modernity, the Ottoman and Chinese intellectuals tried to import the ideas and the institutions of Enlightenment philosophy to their countries as they legitimized them usually by finding an origin within their own tradition. They also introduced the concepts of “nation” and “national sovereignty” into the political literature, and tried to inject the idea of “patriotism” to the people. Although sometimes they advocated contradictory ideas, they generally pursued a similar project which inclueded the proclamation of the constitutional monarchy in order to revive the empire; trying to let the people gain a “national consciousness”, and lastly, preventing the imperialist aggression by the newly constructed strong state and conscious nation. Z. Hale EROĞLU SAĞER
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