Current Institutional Affiliation
Henry M. and Elizabeth P. Wiesenfeld Professor, Sociology, Johns Hopkins University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2002
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Sociology, Johns Hopkins University
Dynamics of Social Unrest in Early Qing China, 1645-1795

The proposed project is an attempt to map and explain the patterns of social unrest in early Qing China, from 1645 to 1795. In the research, I will compile a catalog of unrest events through an intensive examination of selected Qing's original palace documents, which are partly housed in the Number One Historical Archives in Beijing and partly housed in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. By analyzing the temporal and geographic distributions of unrest events, I will evaluate the prevalent Malthusian interpretation of social unrest in late imperial China, and explore the plausibility of an alternative explanation premised on the impact of centralizing state power and expanding commerce. Then, I will compare the patterns of unrest in early Qing China with those in late Qing/early Republican China and those in early modem Europe as depicted in the secondary literature. The research will not only shed light on the dynamics of unrest in late imperial China, but also enhance our understanding of the similarities and differences among the multiple paths to modernities East and West.