Jared Rubin Speaks on Ideology and Economic Change

Jared Rubin, Professor of Economics and Co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Society at Chapman University, will give a talk with the title “Ideology and Economic Change: The Contrasting Paths to the Modern Economy in late 19th Century China and Japan.”

The talk will take place on September 28, 2022, from 4-5:30pm in the Fralin Hall Auditorium (Fralin Hall).

The talk is tailored to appeal to both faculty and students, with plenty of time for discussion and interaction with the guest speaker. The talk will be followed by a public reception. You are cordially invited to attend.

Here is the abstract of the talk: This talk revisits the old thesis of the contrasting paths of modernization between Japan and China since the 19th century. It develops a new analytical framework regarding the role of ideology and ideological change – Meiji Japan’s decisive turn towards the West versus Qing China’s lethargic response to the Western imperialism – as the key driver behind these contrasting paths. More importantly, our model and historical narrative highlights the contrast between Tokugawa Japan’s feudal decentralized political regime and Qing China’s centralized bureaucratic system as key determinants behind the differential patterns of ideological realignment. Meanwhile, we argue that the 1894-96 Japanese naval victory over China served as the catalyst for China’s subsequent ideological transformation which occurred through the intermediary of borrowing Japan’s successful Meiji reform in both institutions and ideology. By presenting new time series of economic statistics, this paper provides a new periodization of Chinese history by linking ideological changes with economic changes.

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