Double-tracked Governance in Chinese traditional society
- Descartes Campus
Invited speaker: Professor Qu Jingdong, Executive Deputy Director, Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Professor in Department of Sociology, Peking University, the former Deputy Director, National Institute of Social Development and Institute of Sociology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences（CASS.
The traditional societies, from the change between Yin and Zhou, between Qin and Han, and the development of subsequent dynasties, have all been around the dialectical relationship between system of enfeoffment and system of prefectures & counties. In the system of enfeoffment, the logical relationship between monarch governance and patriarchal governance was set up based on the regime of patriarchal clan, mourning and ancestral temple, by the principle of QinQin and ZunZun. On the other hand, the general rule of natural nourishment between monarch and populace was established on the sacred view of destiny. In the system of prefectures & counties, the historical potential change since the Era of War was emphasized. Liu Zongyuan held that the private ownership of land, as the reason of maladministration in the system of enfeoffment, was abolished, which, created a world of “Public Tianxia” instead and established an imperial political system. From early modern time, Wang Fuzhi, Gu Yanwu etc. emphasized to include the significance of enfeoffment into the system of prefectures & counties, in order to break through political centralism, which deprived local governances of their self-regulated sphere. Therefore, the dialectic between ‘Public’ and ‘Private’ was problematised again. However, the system of enfeoffment still needs to be clarified by the re-interpretation of classical texts.
Discussion by François Buton, Research Director at CNRS, Triangle, ENS lyon and Romain Graziani, Professor at ENS Lyon, IAO