In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

-15und ~r Nationalist rule, 1937-1949," would it be possible to envisage as an altern,,.tive a conference on "the "ar and civil 1.iar period in China, 1937-1949"? Should the rordr Regions be included instead of excluded, it would become not less, but even mo!'s "fonnal and "informal" gover:i.T~nts, and he explored the functioning of the informal government in terms of the .;entry's po,,.er and responsibility. Still earlier, C. K. Yang saw the "two major structural components" in China as a "national, bureaucratic superstructure" and a "vast substratum of heterogeneous local communities." We know much more about the unified, centralized and hierarchical system of formal adr.inistration--thanks to the many studies on late imperial and Republican China (Silas >u, Fairb~nk and Teng, Hsieh Fao-chao, retzgar, van der Sprenkel, Ch'll, John Watt, etc,)~ with a d;,ms tic ruler sitting at the imperial capital, governors at the provincial capitah , prefects a'. f-.;-ch'eng (prefectural capital), and magistrates at hsirn-ch'eng (county seat). There were isolated cases of experiments in attempt to extend the fo1"lal governcoent system below the county level during the Republiean period, but no really significant development can be reported until after 1949. When one just thinks of the size of this gigantic structure of national administration, which involved some 1, 300 cou:-ities by early t""" tie th century, he wi 11 sense the enormous problem in financin~ and staffing the bureaucracy efficiently, even if the systf>m wPre to expand onl1 cne step telow the county scat, Fro'1 the county level to the grassroots level -- tl:at is, between the gate of the cour.ty yanen and the door of a fanrer's household -- therP was a vast area where "" four.d anotl.Pr set of hierarchical structl're, that of the native, informal, local political order,. which early Marxist anRlyst like T'an Ping-shan called the "rural gov•r:.r.ent." Al !hougr. we do not have so eany studies of this sys terr: as of the forll\al ac:-.:r.iiltrative syste:::, we still lt societies, and peasant banditry; and with inspirat "or. fro~ K. c. Hsiao and Philip Kuhn, more and more monographic stunies are coming out. 7r.e question most pertinent to the topic of this paper, however, is how such infor-oal power st~.s.~h~!Lt~~f.Q!'.TI"~ .~dmJ!'l!!.mJ.~v~.....uste!!!, The infilnllte ~~n the two syste~s often led people to assume that the two were ic!ec.tical. 'ft.ere "re in~P.Pd ir.any aimilaritllle betwi>en them. Like the hierarchy of the fo~l ation, readers may consult Skinner's paper on ·;>::~.; 3e ci ~ie s for the 1968 res~arch conference on Tradi tioruil Chinese Urban Society,) 'I"nc i~te::-per.etro.tion of the two systems may be illustrated by the tables attached herewith. In Table 1, the asterics represent the ideal location, in people's mind, of the adnir.istrative seats in the hierarchy of economic cente_rs. Table 2 represents act-.;al findings, wr.ich leads to a second major difference between the two systems: the ;a:lle to)o'Il or city may enjoy different ranks in different hierarchies. The great re, economic center, Shanghai, for example, did not enjoy a comparable high positior . in the ad::Unistra tive hierarchY. Descending the hierarchy of cor.inercial cente r.s, ve find one local city (Chenki&ll8) on Table 2 serving aa a provincial capital (of KiatljplU) -17in the administrative hierarchy, but another (Shih-ch'i) never playing e\lch a role (in J\Vangtung), al though the latter we growing fast to be a greater city on the Canton delta. Further down the hierarchy, Waichow enjoyed a higher ra:1king than Shih-ch' 1 in the adminietrative hierarchy, but ita economic stat'•6 vae lower. Even in the case of Canton, when the city was both a provincial capital in the ad:ninistrati ve hierarchy and a regional capital in the economic hierarchy, the two systems radiating from the city did not cover an identieal territorial ephere. Administratively , Canton oupervised the...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 15-21
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.