The Autumn-Spring and Warring States and the Unification of China -- The Formation of "Super Stable Structure" in Ancient China

Dingxin Zhao, Professor of Sociology,University of Chicago


This talk presents a general model of social change developed from the theories of Max Weber and Herbert Spencer. The model is applied to address numerous research questions and historical patterns crucial to understanding the Chinese past, especially the history of the Spring-Autumn and Warring States (SA&WS) era (770-221 BCE). Some of those research questions and historical patterns include: Why was China able to achieve an unusual pace of development in politics, ideology, military and economy in the SA&WS era? Why was the state power able to attain increasing domination during the SW&WS, leading to the rise of the strong and militarized bureaucratic state? Why could China end in unification in 221 BCE and why was it Qin rather than the other states that won out in the fierce military conflict? Why could a similar imperial system persist in China most of the time from 221 BCE to the early 20th century? Why did military commanders play little role in politics except during civil wars? Why did transcendental religions fail to have a great impact on Chinese politics?

What were the forces that shaped nomads-Chinese relationships in imperial China? Why didn't an industrial revolution take place in China?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 | 7:30 pm — 9:00 pm
Meyer Library - Room 143, 560 Escondido Mall

Stanford ChinaRains