International Society for Quantitative History

QH Webinar Series

The Rise and Fall of Imperial China

09:00 | Thursday, October 27, 2022

Zoom Webinar

English

Yuhua Wang

Yuhua Wang

Professor of Government, Harvard University

How social networks shaped the imperial Chinese state

China was the world’s leading superpower for almost two millennia, falling behind only in the last two centuries and now rising to dominance again. What factors led to imperial China’s decline? In this Quantitative History Webinar, Yuhua Wang of Harvard University talks about his latest book The Rise and Fall of Imperial China, which offers a systematic look at the Chinese state from the seventh century through to the twentieth. Focusing on how short-lived emperors often ruled a strong state while long-lasting emperors governed a weak one, Yuhua Wang shows why lessons from China’s history can help us better understand state building. 

In the book, Yuhua Wang argues that Chinese rulers faced a fundamental trade-off that he calls the sovereign’s dilemma: a coherent elite that could collectively strengthen the state could also overthrow the ruler. This dilemma emerged because strengthening state capacity and keeping rulers in power for longer required different social networks in which central elites were embedded.

Join us online as we explore how these social networks shaped the Chinese state and vice versa. Yuhua Wang explains how the ruler’s pursuit of power by fragmenting the elites became the final culprit for China’s fall.

Discussant: Richard Hu, UM Development Foundation Distinguished Professor of Politics and Public Policy, University of Macau

Live on Zoom on October 27, 2022
9:00 Hong Kong/Beijing/Singapore
10:00 Tokyo | 12:00 Sydney
Previous Day 18:00 Los Angeles | 21:00 New York

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Zoom Webinar

Yuhua Wang

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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