Pen and Sword: Military Challenges and Bureaucratic Appointments in Imperial China

Event time: 
Monday, November 14, 2022 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Rosenkranz Hall (RKZ), 202 See map
115 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

Bureaucracy is a pillar of state building. I examine how statemakers achieve the transition from tenuous rule to consolidated rule. I argue that rulers can diversify the selection system to recruit agents who have different skill sets to solve the dual challenges of state building: coercion and compliance. While rulers appoint officials who have ideational resources to elicit compliance, they turn to officials with practical skills to respond to military challenges. I draw on archives to build an original dataset on the prefects of Qing Dynasty of Imperial China prefectural and conflict incidents to test this theory. I find that the Qing imperial court were more likely to appoint officials who entered the Imperial Civil Service Examinations during peaceful times, but they turned to Manchu officials and office purchasers after conflicts broke out. This article brings bureaucracy to the debate on state building and contributes to the literature on meritocracy and bureaucratic politics.
Peng Peng is a PhD candidate in the political science department at Duke University. She studies state building in China and other countries. Her dissertation is about state building in Qing China, and examines how rulers can craft state administrations to respond to diverse challenges to their rule. In addition to Qing Dynasty, she examines the trajectory of state building in People’s Republic of China. Her other projects feature political competition and state building in Great Britain and Japan. Methodologically, she uses a combination of statistical methods and archival research.

Peng Peng - Postdoctoral Associate in East Asian Studies and Lecturer in Political Science