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China's official data for demystifying China's modern history

Asia Research Centre and China in Comparative Perspective network public lecture

Date: Tuesday 6 December 2011
Time: 7-9pm
Venue:  Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Dr Kent Deng
Chair: Professor Athar Hussain

To mark the centenary of the 1911 Revolution, this book is a major attempt to contribute to the study of changes in China's institutions and their impact on the national economy as well as ordinary people's daily material life from 1800 to 2000. The trust of the book is its high consistence and coherence in revealing China's mega-cycle of prosperity-poverty-prosperity without, for the first time, the usual attribution to the 1840 Opium War, or the alleged population pressure (including bad weather), class struggle and oriental despotism. The book challenges the conventional view on 'rebellions', 'revolutions' and their alleged motivations and outcomes. Its findings separate commonly circulated myth with reality based on solid evidence and careful evaluation. The benchmark used by the author is people's entitlement and mundane day-to-day material wellbeing, instead of the stereotype of aggregates of industrial hardware and national GDP. The author proves that state-building was the prime mover in China's modern history. Contrary to the popular belief in mass movement, the book shows convincingly that changes were in most cases imposed by a minority with external help. Therefore, the quality of the state was unpredictable, seen from the anti-state that cost lives and economic growth.

Dr Kent Deng is Reader in Economic History, Director of China in Comparative Perspective Network, LSE. He is Fellow of Royal Historical Society (FRHistS), and the winner of 'The Best Thesis in the Last Four Years', awarded by the International Economic History Society, 1994. He is the author of several books on the maritime sector of China, the Chinese literati and the Chinese peasantry. He has also written a list of papers and articles.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries phone and email Dr Xiangqun Chang on 020 8099 4815 or x.chang@lse.ac.uk. You can also visit the website.

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