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Social Change of the Longue Duree: A Theory and Its Applications

Speaker(s): Professor Dingxin Zhao (University of Chicago)
Hosted by Sociology (University of Edinburgh)
Introduced by Dr Lilli Riga (University of Edinburgh)
Date and Time: 13th Sep 2016 12:00 - 13:00
Location: Seminar Room 2 (CMB ground floor)

This talk presents a general theory of social change that I have developed in my recent book entitled "Confucian-Legalist State: A Theory of Chinese History". The theory is based on the premise that human nature has political, ideological, territorial and economic aspects, and humans compete for dominance and try to institutionalize the gains along these aspects. The bulk of the theory is to analyze how each of the four aspects of human nature has given rise to distinctive mechanisms and institutions shaping the contours of history. The empirical implications of the theory will be illustrated by the patterns of the world history, particularly the premodern history of China and Europe.