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December 08, 2008

R. Bin Wong

The Taxing Transformation of the Contemporary Chinese State in Historical and Comparative Perspectives

Tuesday, March 31
Tuesday 12 noon to 1:00 pm
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building
1080 South University

R. Bin Wong
Director, Asia Institute of the University of California, Los Angeles

This presentation considers the political responses to the challenges of fiscal management as an indicator of state transformation. Public finances figure prominently in accounts of modern European state formation and contemporary concerns for democracy in developing countries. What features of the Chinese state’s major fiscal restructuring since the mid-1990s reflect the fiscal problems and political possibilities of other cases? How can these changes be seen in historical perspective? What might China’s current efforts suggest about future changes within China and are there lessons for other parts of the world?

Wong’s research has examined Chinese patterns of political, economic and social change, especially since eighteenth century, both within Asian regional contexts and compared with more familiar European patterns. Among his books, China Transformed: Historical Change and the Limits of European Experience (Cornell University Press, 1997) also appears in Chinese and a Japanese edition is due out in 2009. Wong has also written or co-authored some fifty articles published in North America, East Asia and Europe, published in Chinese, English, French and Japanese in journals that reach diverse audiences within and beyond academia. His scholarly articles include "Entre monde et nation :Les regions Braudelienne en Asie? in Annales HSS, (56.1 (jan-fev 2001): 5-42); “The Search for European Differences and Domination in the Early Modern World: A View from Asia,? American Historical Review, (107.2 (April 2002): 447-69). More popular essays appear in the Nihon keizai shimbun (Japan Economic Times) the Economic and Political Weekly (Bombay, India). A ten-page interview with Wong appears in the August 2004 issue of Shehui kexue (Social Sciences).

Posted by batesbe at December 8, 2008 10:38 AM