Thursday, February 9, 2017
The Failure of a Concept: The Use and Abuse of Sovereignty in Chinese History
(Conferences / Seminars / Lectures)
Part of the Asian Studies Center Colloquium on Transnational East Asia
In Chinese historiography, "sovereignty" is often employed as a placeholder for a number of related, yet discrete, ideas of state power. As a result, the idea of sovereignty in Chinese history has become increasingly unmoored from the original context in which it was formulated and often obscures as much as it explains our understanding the emergence of the modern Chinese state. This talk will summarize recent advances in the study of sovereignty in the social sciences and attempt to create some clarity in the increasingly confusing sub-field of "sovereignty studies" in Chinese history.
Pär Cassel is an associate professor of history at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the associate director of the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies. He specializes in the legal and political history of the late Qing and early Republican period in Chinese history and is the author of Grounds of Judgment: Extraterritoriality and Imperial Power in Nineteenth-Century China and Japan (Oxford UP, 2012).