The Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften: Events
Thursday, 30 November 2017, 19:00
Venue: Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften
Richard von Glahn (University of California, Los Angeles)»The Fiscal State in Chinese History«About the speaker
Richard von Glahn is professor for Chinese history at the University of California in Los Angeles.
His primary field of research is the economic and social history of premodern China, with a particular focus on the period 1000–1700.
About the lecture
In the past two decades, increasing attention has been paid to the significance of the fiscal capacity of the premodern state in promoting or retarding economic growth. In particular, the economic history scholarship has stressed the positive impact that the emergence of the »fiscal state« (drawing on Schumpeter’s concept of the tax state) had in enhancing economic growth in early modern Europe. Comparative studies have contrasted the administrative efficiency of the emerging European fiscal state with contemporary Asian empires (the Ottomans, Mughals, and the Ming-Qing empires in China) to explain the »Great Divergence« in economic performance and state formation in the early modern period. But the Ming-Qing state only represents one version of Chinese state formation during the imperial era. I have identified four basic types of fiscal state that have appeared in China from the Qin unification to Ming-Qing times. In this lecture I will define these four types of fiscal state and their ideological foundations. I will also assess the implications of each type for economic growth.
Prof. Dr. Iwo Amelung is Professor of sinology at Frankfurt University and Goethe Fellow at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaftaen.
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