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Market Economy, Social Inequality, and Paternalistic State in China since the 17th-18th Century

Ho-fung Hung (Johns Hopkins University)



Seventeenth and Eighteenth-century China saw the consolidation of an orthodox Confucianist state that regulated the relations between social classes and between different layers of the state and the people after the model of familial hierarchy. The institution and ideology of China’s paternalistic state stand in sharp contrast to the path of contemporaneous European state formation, which was shaped by the ideology of absolutism, civil society, or popular sovereignty.  The divergence in state-making foments different repertoires and demands in popular contention in China and Europe too. This divergence continues into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, contributing to the specific form of state socialism and state capitalism in China.


October 12, 2022
5:45 -7:15 pm (CET)

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