Bringing the Incorporated Comparison Method into Chinese Stagnation Studies

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 09:40
Oral Presentation
Sung Hee RU, State University of New York at Binghamton, USA
This paper aims to introduce an incorporated comparison method into Chinese stagnation studies. Comparative historical scholars of Chinese stagnation have faced methodological culs de sac, but, they still adhere exclusively to the comparison method. I argue that a practical application of the comparison method seems to be misguiding because the unconditional acceptance of the comparison method has led to the tendency to overlook multi-dimensional experiences in Chinese stagnation. The article is divided into two distinct sections. First, by problematizing the comparison method, this article attempts to debunk long-held problems hitherto neglected in Chinese stagnation studies. I introduce three types of comparison methods that have been widely used in Chinese stagnation studies and then disclose the drawbacks of each comparison-oriented approach. Second, as an alternative, I provide the incorporated comparison method not only to avoid Westernized historical standards in Chinese stagnation studies but also to deal with the dynamics between external impacts and China’s responses to Chinese stagnation. This approach keeps the strong points of comparison methods by transforming the problems with them into advantages.