The Confucian-Legalist State: A New Theory of Chinese History by Dingxin ZhaoThe Confucian-Legalist State: A New Theory of Chinese History by Dingxin Zhao

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

byDingxin Zhao

Hardcover | November 13, 2015

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In the 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 Qindynasty 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, thisConfucian-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 sophisticationbeginning 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 thepatterns 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 astartling new understanding of long-term patterns of Chinese history, one that should trigger debates for years to come among historians, political scientists, and sociologists.
Dingxin Zhao is Max Palevsky Pofessor of Sociology at the University of Chicago and the author of The Power of Tiananmen: State-Society Relations and the 1989 Beijing Student Movement.
Title:The Confucian-Legalist State: A New Theory of Chinese HistoryFormat:HardcoverDimensions:472 pages, 9.29 × 6.42 × 1.5 inPublished:November 13, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199351732

ISBN - 13:9780199351732

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Table of Contents

PrefaceA DisclaimerMapsPart I. Empirical and Theoretical ConsiderationsIntroduction1. A Theory of Historical ChangePart II. The Historical Background of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty2. The Western Zhou (ca. 1045-771 BCE) Order and Its Decline3. The Historical Setting of Eastern Zhou, an Age of WarPart III. War-driven Dynamism in Eastern Zhou4. The Age of Hegemons (770-546 BCE)5. The Age of Transition (545-420 BCE)6. In the Age of Total War (419-221 BCE): (1) Philosophies and Philosophers7. In the Age of Total War: (2) Absolutism Prevailing8. In the Age of Total War: (3) Qin and the Drive toward Unification9. Western Han and the Advent of the Confucian-Legalist StatePart IV. The Confucian-Legalist State and Patterns of Chinese History10. Pre-Song Challenges to the Confucian-Legalist Political Framework and Song Responses11. Relations between Nomads and Settled Chinese in History12. Neo-Confucianism and the Advent of a "Confucian Society"13. Market Economy under the Confucian-Legalist StateConcluding RemarksReferences

Editorial Reviews

"This book offers an intriguing and not uncontroversial explication for a two-part problem of compelling interest today: (1) why was China able to achieve a unified, bureaucratic empire by the Qin dynasty? and (2) why did the imperial institutions and ideology forged in the Qin-Han period showsuch great resilience over two millennia? Zhao, in moving away from the simplistic narratives offered in all too many textbooks, provides us a fresh look at complicated historical processes that deserve our reconsideration." --Michael Nylan, University of California, Berkeley