Political, Social, and Cultural Reproduction via Civil Service Examinations in Late Imperial China

  title={Political, Social, and Cultural Reproduction via Civil Service Examinations in Late Imperial China},
  author={Benjamin A. Elman},
  journal={The Journal of Asian Studies},
  pages={7 - 28}
Most previous scholarship about the civil service examination system in imperial China has emphasized the degree of social mobility such examinations permitted in a premodern society. In the same vein, historians have evaluated the examination process in late imperial China from the perspective of the modernization process in modern Europe and the United States. They have thereby successfully exposed the failure of the Confucian system to advance the specialization and training in science that… 

Cultural Strategies and the Political Economy of Protest in Mid-Qing China, 1740-1839

In the historical study of contentious politics, political economy theories see the transformation of the dominant form of contention from reactive violence to proactive demonstration in early modern

Autocratic Rule and Social Capital: Evidence from Imperial China

This paper explores the impact of autocratic rule on social capital—defined as the beliefs, attitudes, norms and perceptions that support cooperation. Political repression is a distinguishing

The Longevity of Chinese Absolutism

One of the most well-known features of Chinese political system is its endurance. The imperial system—autocracy, hereditary rule, and a powerful bureaucracy—was founded in 221 BCE and ended in 1911

From the imperial examination to the national college entrance examination: The dynamics of political centralism in China's educational enterprise

This paper examines the relationships between political centralism and the Imperial Examination in imperial China and the National College Entrance Examination (NCEE) in the People's Republic of

Cultural Species and Institutional Change in China

This paper attempts to give a comprehensive account of the cultural embeddedness of the contemporary Chinese economy. Although culture has been revived as a category in economics recently, there is

The Social Roles of Literati in Early to Mid-Ch'ing

This chapter presents an institutional and social analysis of the transformation of literati roles from 1650 to 1800, the early and mid-Ch'ing period. It describes the interactions between the

Social Hierarchies and the Formation of Customary Property Law in Pre-Industrial China and England

The appendices for this paper are available at the following URL: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2239843Comparative lawyers and economists have often assumed that traditional Chinese laws and customs

The Literary Inquisition: The Persecution of Intellectuals and Human Capital Accumulation in China

Imperial China used an empire-wide system of examinations to select civil servants. Using a semiparametric matching-based difference-in-differences estimator, we show that the persecution of

The Absence of Public Libraries in Imperial China: An Alternative Interpretation of Chinese Writing

ABSTRACT The purpose of this article is to explore Chinese writing and its connection with libraries in Imperial China. From the perspective of analysing Chinese writing and its cultural, social, and

Heaven is High and the Emperor is Far Away: The Hong Kong/China Crisis in the Nation-State System Context

Before the nation-state system was devised China had developed a highly systematized philosophy of social relations known as Confucianism. This philosophy provided a collective sense of being Chinese



Rural China Imperial Control In the Nineteenth Century

This massive volume opens up a new field of research and at the same time provides a guide to the Chinese and Western literature on it. Under the term "Control," Professor Hsiao comprises the whole


Abstract One of the most distinctive features of traditional Chinese society is that it was governed through a bureaucracy recruited by civil service examinations. The examinations, which tested the

Chinese local elites and patterns of dominance

This important volume affords a panoramic view of local elites during the dramatic changes of late imperial and Republic China. Eleven specialists present fresh, detailed studies of subjects ranging

Chinese society in the eighteenth century

During the eighteenth century, China's new Manchu rulers consolidated their control of the largest empire China had ever known. In this book Susan Naquin and Evelyn S. Rawski draw on the most recent

Demographic, Political, And Social Transformations Of China, 750–1550

Between 750 and 1550, the Chinese demographic, political, and social landscape was dramatically altered. The objective of this essay is to test a few of the many propositions that can be deduced from

An Introduction to the Civil Service of Sung China: With Emphasis on Its Personnel Administration

  • W. W. Lo
  • Economics
    The Journal of Asian Studies
  • 1988
wise Western-trained technicians. Chiang "had the insight that fundamental Confucian ethos do not inhibit, but actually facilitate [sic], modernization" (p. 158). He thus sought to blend

Educational Reform and Politics in Early Republican China

  • B. Keenan
  • Education, Political Science
    The Journal of Asian Studies
  • 1974
In the fall of 1922 a School Reform Decree was promulgated by the Chinese Ministry of Education establishing a new school system. The contents of this decree defined the administrative structure and


This article explores the efforts of the traditional Chinese state to promote what may be loosely defined as "Confucian" virtues. In essence these were the virtues that stabilized a society that was

China's gentry : essays in rural-urban relations

These seven essays on the structure of Chinese society are based on articles contributed by Fei to Chinese newspapers in 1947 and 1948. Six case histories from a study of the gentry by Yung-teh Chow