Disciplining the State: Virtue, Violence, and State-Making by Patricia M. Thornton

By Patricia M. Thornton

What are states, and the way are they made? students of ecu historical past assert that conflict makes states, simply as states make warfare. This learn unearths that during China, the demanding situations of governing produced a trajectory of state-building during which the approaches of ethical rules and social keep an eye on have been at the least as crucial to state-making because the workout of coercive energy. State-making is, in China as in other places, a profoundly normative and normalizing procedure. This learn maps the complicated approaches of state-making, ethical rules, and social keep watch over in the course of 3 severe reform classes: the Yongzheng reign (1723-1735), the Guomindang's Nanjing decade (1927-1937), and the Communist Party's Socialist schooling crusade (1962-1966). in the course of every one interval, principal specialists introduced--not with out resistance--institutional switch designed to increase the achieve of primary regulate over neighborhood political lifestyles. The successes and screw ups of state-building in each one case rested mostly upon the power of every regime to build itself as an independent ethical agent either become independent from and embedded in an imagined political neighborhood. Thornton bargains a old interpreting of the state-making procedure as a competition among critical and native regimes of bureaucratic and discursive perform.

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Extra resources for Disciplining the State: Virtue, Violence, and State-Making in Modern China (Harvard East Asian Monographs)

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Bryna Goodman, Native Place, City, and Nation: Regional Networks and Identities in Shanghai, 1853–1937 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995). 49. Lynn Hunt, The New Cultural History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989), p. 17. Introduction 19 claims made by such respondents were true, nor to evaluate the strength of the interests that may have motivated them. It is to demonstrate how the normative and normalizing effects of the state-making project defined particular agents and practices and rearranged them, by placing them either within the conceptual boundary of the state or outside the realm of state control, and to record the broad range of countervailing responses to such efforts.

Constructing the Crisis Within days of his father’s death, Prince Yinzhen, who would shortly become the Emperor Yongzheng, expressed his concerns about the state of the imperial treasury. An audit of the Board of Revenue’s funds disclosed a balance of 8,000,000 taels, an amount that totaled just over a 26. Metzger (1973), pp. 235–36n; Ch’ü T’ung-tsu (1961), p. 194. The lack of clarity apparently extended back to the original provision in Tang law. See Denis Twitchett, “The Fragment of the T’ang Ordinances of the Department of Waterways Discovered at Tun-huang,” Asia Major 6 (1957–58): 23–79.

These highly formalized constructions therefore became sites of political contestation, struggle, and resistance. 43 Local interpretations of such terms varied, sometimes radically, from the models offered in the formulations of central leaders. ”44 The imbrication of largely overlapping discursive traditions—one centered in the administrative structure of the state, the other subsisting largely in its shadow—admits no easy division between the two textual orders. Local gazetteers and the more recent collections of published historical and literary materials (wenshi ziliao), for example, both originated in central state mandates to collect and record available information either about or from within the various administrative units under central control, but over time have come to represent and express a 42.

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