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作者 Hill, Joshua Benjamin
書名 Voting as a Rite: Changing Ideas of Elections in Early Twentieth Century China
國際標準書號 9781267107787
book jacket
說明 345 p
附註 Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 73-04, Section: A, page:
Adviser: William C. Kirby
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Harvard University, 2011
There is a long history of voting in mainland China. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, influential Chinese thinkers argued that elections were part of a "worldwide trend" of leaders actively engaging their populaces in politics. Officials of the last dynasty, in the final years of its rule, embraced this notion---as has every succeeding government. None of these regimes, however, claimed power on the basis of the ballot box alone. Thus, the historical significance of China's elections lies not in their political consequences, but in what they reveal about changing political values and ideas
My dissertation argues that Chinese political thinkers initially saw elections as a mechanism for selecting talented and moral officials. Suffrage was restricted to those presumed to have the ability to discern these qualities and the elections themselves were competitive. In Chapter 1, I link the origins of this system to the political structures of late imperial China through an analysis of the writings of prominent intellectuals. Chapters 2, 3, and 4 use contemporary newspaper accounts to investigate how this system of voting operated, and how it was critiqued, during the Qing-sponsored 1909 elections, the new Republican government's 1912 elections, and elections held during the "warlord era" of the late 1910s and early 1920s
By the 1920s, many political activists lost confidence in this electoral system, which seemed to elevate only the ambitious and corrupt to office. Elections thus presented a problem for mid-twentieth century theorists and political leaders: they were necessary, yet unappealing. Chapter 5 draws on archival materials to explore how later governments, ranging from the "autonomous" provincial governments of the early 1920s to the one-party dictatorships of the Nationalist and Communist parties, experimented with universal suffrage elections that were designed to be consensual and noncompetitive. Unlike earlier elections, this system of voting was primarily intended to "educate" voters about the state's values. The history of Chinese elections as told in my dissertation is not a history of Chinese democracy---instead, it is a history of how experiments with different systems of voting both reflected and shaped popular attitudes toward politics
School code: 0084
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 73-04A
主題 History, Asia, Australia and Oceania
Political Science, General
0332
0615
Alt Author Harvard University
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