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The Everlasting EmpireThe Political Culture of Ancient China and Its Imperial Legacy$
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Yuri Pines

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691134956

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691134956.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The Everlasting Empire

Yuri Pines

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter offers some insights into the durability of the Chinese political system. In particular, the chapter attributes the Chinese imperial experience from that of other comparable polities elsewhere to the empire's exceptional ideological prowess. The Chinese empire, as the chapter shows, was an extraordinarily powerful ideological construct, the appeal of which to a variety of political actors enabled its survival even during periods of severe military, economic, and administrative malfunctioning. Moreover, the chapter provides a number of arguments against merely reducing Chinese political culture to this peculiar historical trajectory. To conclude, the chapter lays out the three main goals to be accomplished in this volume, as well as some notes on references and translations.

Keywords:   Chinese political system, Chinese political culture, Chinese imperial experience, Chinese empire, All-under-Heaven, imperial ideology, Chinese history

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