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The Confucian-Legalist State: A New Theory of Chinese History

The Confucian-Legalist State: A New Theory of Chinese History


ZHAO Dingxin - 赵鼎新


Oxford University Press

35,00 €

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Paru le : 01 Juin 2018
Pages : 472
EAN 13 : 9780190886950

Présentation de l'éditeur

In The Confucian-Legalist State, Dingxin Zhao offers a radically new analysis of Chinese imperial history from the eleventh century BCE to the fall of the Qing dynasty. This study first uncovers the factors that explain how, and why, China developed into a bureaucratic empire under the Qin dynasty in 221 BCE. It then examines the political system that crystallized during the Western Han dynasty, a system that drew on China's philosophical traditions of Confucianism and Legalism. Despite great changes in China's demography, religion, technology, and socioeconomic structures, this Confucian-Legalist political system survived for over two millennia. Yet, it was precisely because of the system's resilience that China, for better or worse, did not develop industrial capitalism as Western Europe did, notwithstanding China's economic prosperity and technological sophistication beginning with the Northern Song dynasty.

In examining the nature of this political system, Zhao offers a new way of viewing Chinese history, one that emphasizes the importance of structural forces and social mechanisms in shaping historical dynamics. As a work of historical sociology, The Confucian-Legalist State aims to show how the patterns of Chinese history were not shaped by any single force, but instead by meaningful activities of social actors which were greatly constrained by, and at the same time reproduced and modified, the constellations of political, economic, military, and ideological forces. This book thus offers a startling new understanding of long-term patterns of Chinese history, one that should trigger debates for years to come among historians, political scientists, and sociologists.

Présentation de l'éditeur:


Part I. Empirical and Theoretical Considerations
Chapter 1: A Theory of Historical Change

Part II. The Historical Background of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty
Chapter 2: The Western Zhou (ca. 1045-771 BCE) Order and Its Decline
Chapter 3: The Historical Setting of Eastern Zhou, an Age of War

Part III. War-driven Dynamism in Eastern Zhou
Chapter 4: The Age of Hegemons (770-546 BCE)
Chapter 5: The Age of Transition (545-420 BCE)
Chapter 6: In the Age of Total War (419-221 BCE): (1) Philosophies and
Chapter 7: In the Age of Total War: (2) Absolutism Prevailing
Chapter 8: In the Age of Total War: (3) Qin and the Drive toward Unification
Chapter 9: Western Han and the Advent of the Confucian-Legalist State

Part IV. The Confucian-Legalist State and Patterns of Chinese History
Chapter 10: Pre-Song Challenges to the Confucian-Legalist
Political Framework and Song Responses
Chapter 11: Relations between Nomads and Settled Chinese in History
Chapter 12: Neo-Confucianism and the Advent of a Chapter 13: Market Economy under the Confucian-Legalist State
Concluding Remarks