Economic and Cultural History - Interpretation

another short list -


Yuri Pines – Professor of Chinese history at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  Many papers are available at  Academia site - Yuri Pines  Author of The Everlasting Empire: the Political Culture of Ancient China and its Imperial Legacy  Everlasting Empire


Walter Scheidel - Professor of humanities and classics at Stanford.   Author of Rome and China: comparative perspectives on ancient world empires.   University site    Working papers are at  Scheidel working papers  Sample work - The Xiongnu and the comparative study of empire   Version 1.0. Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics, September 2010;   and    The First Great Divergence.  Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics.  Version 1.0  October, 2007.   I know these are working papers;  but published versions are blocked in China.   and  Walter Scheidel, ed.  Rome and China – Comparative Perspectives on Ancient World Empires.  Oxford University Press, 2009. Rome and China


Peter Turchin – developed theory of large state formation at borders of Asian steppe - A Theory for Formation of Large Empires.  Journal of Global History, 2009:4, pages 191-217.  Available   Large Empires


Joel Mokyr – Robert Strotz Professor of economic history at Northwestern.  Prolific author, known mostly for describing the intellectual and institutional factors in economic growth and technological change.  The big idea for our purposes is the Republic of Letters, the informal associations that flourished in Europe in the Enlightenment and did not do so in Ming or Qing China. 

University site   Latest book – A Culture of Growth – The Origins of the Modern Economy Culture of Growth


 Mark Elvin – Professor emeritus at Australian National University  University site  Noted for the concept of the high level equilibrium trap to explain lack of modern Chinese development.  Sample work - The Pattern of the Chinese Past, Stanford University Press, 1973  Pattern of the Chinese Past   On the trap - High Level Equilibrium Trap


Avner Greif -   Professor of Economics at Stanford.  Perhaps best known for work on generalized and particularized trust in trade, a la the Maghribi traders.  Student of Joel Mokyr’s.   Sample work – (with Guido Tabellini) The Clan and the City: Sustaining Cooperation in China and Europe. Most papers available on his web site, Greif Papers


Kenneth Pomeranz –   Professor of modern Chinese history at University of Chicago.  Sample work - The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy Great Divergence   and  The Great Himalayan Watershed- Agrarian Crisis, Mega-Dams and the Environment.  New Left Review 58, July-August 2009  Himalayan Watershed


Andre Gunder Frank – Economic historian and sociologist, writer on world systems theory.  A prolific author, but probably best known in the US for  ReOrient:  Global Economy in the Asian Age   Reorient


David Landes – Professor of economics and history at Harvard University.   Sample work - The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor. W.W. Norton, 1998.


Angus Maddison – economist at University of Groningen, noted for calculations of GDP and GDP per capital in countries in the world over centuries.  Sample work -  Chinese Economic Performance in the Long Run.   Development Center Studies, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 1998   Chinese Economic Performance in the Long Run


Martin King Whyte  University site  Known for series of surveys of Chinese documenting attitudes toward inequality and justice.  Clarified the “social volcano” theory of CCP decline to reflect injustice rather than simple wealth gap.  Social Volcano  Sample work - Sub-optimal Institutions but Superior Growth: The Puzzle of China's Economic Boom." In China's Economic Dynamics: A Beijing Consensus in the Making?, eds. J. Li and L. M. Wang, 15-47. London: Routledge, 2014. Available Suboptimal Institutions


R. Bin Wong – Distinguished Professor of History at UCLA and former director of the Asia Institute. Comparative political and economic history.  Author of China Transformed – Historical Change and the Limits of European Experience  University site


Kent Deng – Associate Professor at the London School of Economics.     University site   Describes the relation of Chinese public to private in micro and macro terms throughout dynastic history.  Sample work -Nation, State and the Economy in History.  London: LSE Research Online, 2003.  Nation, State, and the Economy   Latest book - Mapping China’s Growth and Development in the Long Run, 221 BC to 2020   Mapping China's Growth


Victoria Tin-bor Hui -  Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Notre Dame.   Sample popular work -   How China Was Ruled.  The American Interest,   3:4 ,  March 1, 2008, Available at How China Was Ruled   School web page  University site   Her blog about the Hong Kong umbrella movement is at Hong Kong Umbrella movement


Debin Ma – Professor of Economic History at the London School of Economics.  Concentration in economics in the Qing dynasty.  University site  Sample work - Rock, Scissors, Paper  and    Political Institutions and Long Run Economic Trajectory: Some Lessons from Two Millennia of Chinese Civilization.  Center for Economic Policy Research, Discussion Paper Series No. 8791.  January, 2012.  Lessons from Two Millennia


Peter Bol – Bol has taught Chinese intellectual history at Harvard for many years and is one of the teachers of the popular ChinaX course on the HarvardX site. University site


Nathan Sivin - taught history of science in China and made significant contributions to the Joseph Needham multi-volume, multi-decade series, Science and Civilization in China.   Sample work -  Comparing Greek and Chinese Philosophy and Science.  Chapter 1 in Medicine, Philosophy and Religion in Ancient China. Variorum, 1995.  Reprinted online at  Science and Civ - chapter 1


Barry Naughton - Chair of Chinese International Relations at University of California-San Diego.  University site  Author of The Chinese Economy – Transition and Growth, an excellent introduction to modern China.  A new edition is available.  Sample work - Economic Policy in the Aftermath of the 19th Party Congress.  China Leadership Monitor, Winter, 2018.  Aftermath of 19th Party Congress  


David Shambaugh - Professor of Political Science at George Washington University.  Author of China's Communist Party: Atrophy and Adaptation, the best description of the internal workings of CCP.  

Chris Buckley interview with Shambaugh at Sinocism -

Shannon Tiezzi interview with Shambaugh at the Diplomat -


Richard McGregor – former Beijing and Washington bureau chief for the Financial Times.  Author of The Party: The Secret World of China's Communist Rulers, HarperCollins, 2010


River Elegy - A six-part documentary on the decline of traditional Chinese culture.  China Central Television, June, 1988. Presented with English subtitles by Deep Dish Satellite TV Network.  Highlights at River Elegy youtube   Wiki - River Elegy wiki




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