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The Essentials of Governance

The Essentials of Governance

$31.99 (P)

Part of Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought

Hilde De Weerdt, David McMullen, Jack W. Chen, Chu Mingkin, Oliver Moore, David McMullen, Anthony DeBlasi, Gabe van Beijeren, Anna M. Shields, Tineke D'Haeseleer
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  • Date Published: March 2021
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108926287

$ 31.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • In the eighth century, Wu Jing selected exchanges between Emperor Taizong and his ministers that he deemed key to good governance. This collection of dialogues has been used for the education of emperors, political elites and general readers ever since, and is a standard reference work in East Asian political thought. Consisting of ten volumes, subdivided into forty topics, The Essentials of Governance addresses core themes of Chinese thinking about the politics of power, from the body politic, presenting and receiving criticism, recruitment, the education of the imperial clan, political virtues and vices, to cultural policy, agriculture, law, taxation, border policy, and how to avoid disaster and dynastic fall. Presented with introductory commentary that offers insights into its historical context and global reception, this accessible and reliable translation brings together ten scholars of Chinese intellectual history to offer a nuanced edition that preserves the organisation, tone and flow of the original.

    • Offers an accessible and reliable translation of a seminal work of East Asian political thought
    • Makes available for the first time a central and still current vision of imperial government
    • Detailed introductory survey by two leading scholars of Chinese intellectual history offers indispensable insights into the contents, historical context, and history of its global reception
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2021
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108926287
    • length: 442 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 137 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    List of Maps
    Notes on Contributors
    List of Dynasties
    Introduction: The Essentials of Governance from the Reign of Constancy Revealed in Context Hilde De Weerdt and David McMullen
    Presentation of The Essentials of Governance from the Reign of Constancy Revealed Hilde De Weerdt
    Preface to The Essentials of Governance from the Reign of Constancy Revealed Hilde De Weerdt
    Volume I
    1. The Way of the Sovereign Jack W. Chen
    2. The Organization of Governance Jack W. Chen
    Volume II
    3. Employing the Wise Hilde De Weerdt
    4. Seeking Criticism Hilde De Weerdt
    5. Accepting Criticism Hilde De Weerdt
    Volume III
    6. Lessons from the Past for Sovereign and Officials Chu Mingkin
    7. On Selecting Officials Oliver Moor
    8. On Enfieffment David McMullen
    Volume IV
    9. On Determining the Roles of the Crown Prince and the Princes David McMullen
    10. On Respecting Tutors David McMullen
    11. Instructing and Warning the Crown Prince and the Princes David McMullen
    12. Reproving the Crown Prince David McMullen
    Volume V
    13. On Humaneness and Righteousness Anthony DeBlasi
    14. On Loyalty and Righteousness Anthony DeBlasi
    15. On Filial Piety and Friendship Anthony DeBlasi
    16. On Impartiality Anthony DeBlasi
    17. On Sincerity and Trustworthiness Anthony DeBlasi
    Volume VI
    18. On Frugality and Moderation Gabe van Beijeren
    19. On Modesty and Deference Gabe van Beijeren
    20. On Being Humane and Compassionate Gabe van Beijeren
    21. Caution in One's Preferences Anna M. Shields
    22. Caution in Speech Anna M. Shields
    23. Obstructing Slander and Sycophancy Anna M. Shields
    24. On Regretting One's Faults Anna M. Shields
    25. On Profligacy and Recklessness Jack W. Chen
    26. On Greed and Baseness Jack W. Chen
    Volume VII
    27. Honoring Classicist Scholarship Chu Mingkin
    28. On Literature and History Chu Mingkin
    29. On Rites and Music Chu Mingkin
    Volume VIII
    30. Dedication to Agriculture Tineke D'Haeseleer
    31. On Punishment and Law Tineke D'Haeseleer
    32. On Amnesties Tineke D'Haeseleer
    33. On Tribute Presentations Oliver Moor
    34. Recognizing the Rise and Fall of Dynasties Hilde De Weerdt
    Volume IX
    35. Debates about Punitive Expeditions Tineke D'Haeseleer
    36. Debates about Pacifying the Borders Tineke D'Haeseleer
    Volume X
    37. On Tours Oliver Moor
    38. On Hunting Oliver Moor
    39. On Auspicious and Inauspicious Signs Gabe van Beijeren
    40. On Remaining Vigilant until the End Gabe van Beijeren
    Dramatis Personae
    Further Reading.

  • Author

    Wu Jing

    Editors and translators

    Hilde De Weerdt, Universiteit Leiden
    Hilde De Weerdt is Professor of Chinese History at Leiden University. She has authored and edited books on Chinese political culture and intellectual history including Competition over Content: Negotiating Standards for the Civil Service Examinations in Imperial China (1127–1276) (2007), Information, Territory, and Networks: The Crisis and Maintenance of Empire in Song China (2015), Political Communication in Chinese and European History, 800–1600 (2020), and Knowledge and Text Production in an Age of Print – China, Tenth-Fourteenth Centuries (2014).

    Glen Dudbridge, University of Oxford
    Glen Dudbridge (1938–2017) was Shaw Professor of Chinese at the University of Oxford from 1989–2005, Honorary Member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences from 1996, and President of the European Association for Chinese Studies from 1998 to 2002. A pioneering scholar of traditional Chinese literature, he published works on The Hsi-yu chi, the legend of Miao-shan and the tale of Li Wa including Books, Tales and Vernacular Culture: Selected Papers on China (2005) and A Portrait of Five Dynasties China: From the Memoirs of Wang Renyu 880–956 (2013).

    Gabe van Beijeren, Universiteit Leiden
    Gabe van Beijeren is Lecturer at the Leiden Institute for Area Studies at Leiden University where he teaches courses in Classical Chinese and on Chinese history, philosophy and religion. His research focuses on Tang history, in particular the structuring of Tang historical texts as narratives and the rhetorical effects of narratives.


    Hilde De Weerdt, David McMullen, Jack W. Chen, Chu Mingkin, Oliver Moore, David McMullen, Anthony DeBlasi, Gabe van Beijeren, Anna M. Shields, Tineke D'Haeseleer

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