Social Order through Contracts

A Study of the Qingshui River Manuscripts

Authors: Qu, Jian

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  • Provides an in-depth study of ethnic villages in the frontier area of the huge empire of Qing
  • Presents an empirical and theoretical interpretation of the law and practice of contract in pre-modern China
  • Is the first Western-language monograph of an academically promising Chinese manuscript corpus
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eBook $84.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-981-334-947-6
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Hardcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-981-334-946-9
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  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
About this book

This book is the first Western-language monograph on the study of the Qingshui River manuscripts. By examining over 3,000 contracts and other manuscripts, this book offers constructive insights into the long-standing question of how and why a society in late imperial China could maintain a well-functioning social system with few laws but many contracts, i.e., Hobbesian “words without sword.” Three interrelated questions, what contracts were, how and why they worked, are explained successively. Thus, this book presents a non-stereotypical “contract society” in southwest China, arguing that the social order which provides predictability and regularity for economic prosperity could be formed and maintained through contracts even under the condition of relatively weak influence of governmental and legal authorities.
This book benefits readers who are interested in law, society, and history. While presenting the socio-legal landscape of a frontier area in late imperial China for historians, this book provides a novel and empirical interpretation of the supposedly well-known contract device for legal researchers, thereby proposing materials for an integrated theoretical explanatory framework of contracts in general. By employing the innovative theory of blockchain in its key argumentation, the book offers a creative interpretation of historical and social phenomena.

About the authors

Jian Qu has accomplished his doctorate from Heidelberg University, Germany, in 2020. Prior to that, he graduated from Tsinghua University with a Master of Law degree (2015). He also studied at Sciences Po, Paris, and obtained two bachelor's degrees from Southwest University of Political Science and Law (LL.B., 2012) and from Southwest University (B.A., 2012). His studies on legal theory and legal history were supported by the CSC, the Max Weber Foundation, and the DAAD. He was a visiting researcher with a scholarship at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt, in 2018, and the year after, he published his first book, Yanchu fasui (“Taking Promulgated Words as Law,” in two volumes), for which he won the biennial Zeng Xianyi Prize for Outstanding Monographs on Legal History (2019).

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-981-334-947-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-981-334-946-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Social Order through Contracts
Book Subtitle
A Study of the Qingshui River Manuscripts
Authors
Copyright
2021
Publisher
Springer Singapore
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
eBook ISBN
978-981-334-947-6
DOI
10.1007/978-981-33-4947-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-981-334-946-9
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXI, 284
Number of Illustrations
417 b/w illustrations
Topics