International Society for Quantitative History

QH Webinar Series

Qing Officialdom: Insights from Historical Big Data

09:00 | Thursday, November 17, 2022

Zoom Webinar

English

Cameron Campbell

Cameron Campbell

Chair Professor of Social Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Qing Officials, Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In this Quantitative History Webinar, the Areas of Excellence (AoE) project team member Cameron Campbell of HKUST presents empirical results from his analysis of the China Government Employee Dataset-Qing (CGED-Q) on the composition of Qing officialdom and the dynamics of official careers that support, complicate and contradict the common assumptions and stylized facts that underpin much recent quantitative research on Qing social, economic, and political history. At present, the core of the CGED-Q are 4,433,600 longitudinally linked jinshenlu (縉紳錄) records of 327,618 civil and military officials who held formal appointments between 1760 and 1911, with the most complete coverage for the period from 1830 to 1911. For the latter period, Cameron summarizes the composition over time of all officials, high-ranked officials and other key groups of officials by examination or purchased degree and other characteristics. He also introduces measures of career dynamics including time to appointment and career length for different categories of officials. Collectively, the results show that in the 19th century, the civil service examinations were but one part of a diverse system for appointment of officials. They also show that the careers of most officials were short, with few serving in more than one post or for more than a few years. Taken together with recent work by others, most notably findings on office purchase by Lawrence Zhang, such findings indicate a need to decenter the examination system in quantitative studies of the late Qing and give more attention to holders of purchased degrees, Bannermen, and other overlooked categories of officials.

Join us online as we explore how the CGED-Q has been constructed by Cameron Campbell and his team. Cameron Campbell also explains the ongoing expansion of the CGED-Q and the plans for additional public releases beyond the already available 1850-1864 and 1900-1912 samples.

Discussant: Qin Jiang, Professor, Department of History, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Live on Zoom on November 17, 2022
9:00 Hong Kong/Beijing/Singapore
10:00 Tokyo | 12:00 Sydney
Previous Day 17:00 Los Angeles | 20:00 New York

CGED-Q Background
Chen Bijia, Cameron Campbell, Yuxue Ren, and James Lee. 2020. Big Data for the Study of Qing Officialdom: The China Government Employee Database-Qing (CGED-Q). The Journal of Chinese History. 4(Special Issue 2):431-460. https://doi.org/10.1017/jch.2020.15

Project web page: https://www.shss.ust.hk/lee-campbell-group/projects/china-government-employee-database-qing-cged-q/

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Zoom Webinar

Cameron Campbell

English

The Quantitative History Webinar Series aims to provide researchers, teachers, and students with an online intellectual platform to keep up to date with the latest research in the field, promoting the dissemination of research findings and interdisciplinary use of quantitative methods in historical research. The Series, now in its third year, is co-organized by the International Society for Quantitative History, HKU Business School, and Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. 量化歷史網上講座系列由香港大學陳志武和馬馳騁教授聯合發起,旨在介紹前沿量化歷史研究成果、促進同仁交流,推廣量化方法在歷史研究中的應用。本系列講座由國際量化歷史學會、香港大學經管學院和香港人文社會研究所全力支持和承辦。

Conveners: Professor Zhiwu Chen & Dr. Chicheng Ma (HKU Business School)

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