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Chinese Republican Studies Newsletter EDITOR Barry Keenan, Department of History, Denison University, Granville, Ohio· Advisory and Contributing Editorial Board: Lloyd Eastman, Edward Friedman, John Israel, James Sheridan, Lyman Van Slyke Volume Ill Number2 February, 1978 CHICAGO PROJECT ON LOCAL LEADERSHIP AND SOCIAL CHANGE Susan Mann Jones In January of 1977 the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded the Center for Far Eastern Studies of the University of Chicago a grant to support a research project entitled "Political leadership and social change at the local level in China, 1850 to the present." The project was designed as an interdisciplinary effort, juxtaposing the ~rban and rural, pre- and post-1949 context of political and social change at the local level . The project is directed by Tsou Tang, with Philip Kuhn, William Parish, and Susan Mann Jones. Project funding also pro- . vides for the recruitment of four people from outside the University of Chicago, . two post-doctoral research associates and two research interns. This year these were (respectively) Guy Alitto (University of Akron) and Marc Blecher (Oberlin); David Strand (Columbia) and Ch'en Yung-fa (Stanford) • If the drive for matching . funds for the second half of the project is successful, four more such positions will be available in the next academic year. We see this project as a framework for problem-solving on a number of levels. It provided the means for bringing in outside speakers to criticize the methodology and the conceptualization of the research design itself, and also to talk about their own work. G. William Skinner, Gilbert Rozman, and James Polachek were among those wbo came to lecture and to join a biweekly project seminar last year. It has provided salary relief for faculty members who need to spend more time on research, and has made possible travel to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the People's Republic to obtain source materials. Most important, it has established a context for the regular discussion of our own research. The project is not centrally· directed . Each participant is expected to design and pursue his/her own research in the common framework of investigating the following sets of problems: 1) the changing social basis of local leadership, from late imperial times to the present; · 2) the changing forms of political participation in city and countryside, from traditional village and neighborhood associations to new-style TABLE OF CONTENTS CHICAGO PROJECT ON LOCAL LEADERSHIP AND SOCIAL CHANGE, Susan Mann Jones............................... 1 ON TRANSFORMATIVE AND ACCOMMODATIVE PHILOSOPHIZING IN TWENTIETH-CENTURY CHINA, Thomas A. Metzger ••••••• 6 THE PEASANT MOVEMENT OF THE 1920s: A NOTE ON SOURCES, Robert B. Marks• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •. • • • • • •• •.. • • • • 9 SOUTHWEST CHINA: A REPORT ON TWO WORKSHOPS, David Deal and Kent Smth . ...... •. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 URBAN RESPONSES TO REVOLUTION IN THE 1920s, A.H.A. Panel, December, 1977 ......... •·• .................•... 17 ~ -2mass organizations and collective economic units; 3) the penetration of China's bureaucratic machinery down to a much smaller scale of organization than was known in imperial times; 4) the meaning of all these factors for a trend toward social and economic equality. These areas were selected because of the conviction of the participants that one of the most significant aspects of China's modern history has been a transformation of local administration at its most basic level: the villages, market communities, and urban neighborhoods that lie organizationally beneath the county level. We believe there is enough evidence to show a continuous process, from late imperial times to the present day, in which governments have sought to extend their formal apparatus down to the sub-county level, and to enmesh local society in a finer net of administrative control. We believe that this process can be shown to have involved a complex interrelationship between scales of local organization, the social bases of local leadership, degrees of political participation, and the process of economic development. Our effort to examine this process over a long time span should help to clarify a vital point of historical interpretation: the nature of the transitional role of the Republican period in building a finer infrastructure and a more penetrating form of bureaucratic -control for China's local society. It is our hypothesis that certain basic processes of political change began to operate on the local...


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