The Rise and Fall of Imperial China (and Beyond)
Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EST)
- Chair: James Kai-sing Kung, University of Hong Kong
Economic Changes in China: The Role of Institutions and Ideology
AbstractHow and why did political and economic changes take place at all in modern China under a political regime dominated by an imperial absolutism? One common explanation is the onset of Western imperial challenges. However, I show that the 1842 Opium War did not exert the kind of ideological transformation as the 1894-96 did because China’s ideological transformation occurred in the latter period through the intermediary of Japan’s successful Meiji reform in both institutions and ideology. By highlighting the importance of institutions and ideology and their interaction in a feedback loop as critical elements accounting for the remarkable transformations as well as great inertia of Chinese response to Western or modernization challenges, and presenting new time series of economic statistics, this paper provides a new periodization of Chinese history by linking ideological changes with economic (institutional) change and political reforms.
Foreign Education, Ideology and the Fall of Imperial China
AbstractIt has long been accepted that education is an important determinant of economic growth. What is less often observed is that, through indoctrination, education can also shape preferences and ideology. Using the 1911 Chinese Revolution as example, we demonstrate how the Qing government’s intention to acquire knowledge useful for state building by sending students to study in Japan led to unexpected political consequences. By using the number of Chinese students in Japan as a proxy for the effects of foreign education, we show that counties with a higher density of overseas students had significantly higher participation in political parties, greater representation in electoral politics, and were more likely to declare independence from the Qing government. The content of education also mattered; political activism was significantly stronger in counties where more students studied arts and social sciences subjects. Schools and newspapers were the channels through which the ideology of nationalism was diffused.
University of Gothenburg
University of California-San Diego
- N0 - General
- O5 - Economywide Country Studies