Li as Administrative Law: Political Stratification and the Construction of Qing Administrative Order in Seventeenth-Century China

Fudan Law Review, no. 3 (2016)

Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 347

46 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2016 Last revised: 15 Jun 2016

Date Written: June 6, 2015

Abstract

Li has long been understood as the bedrock of Chinese history and society by both historical actors and modern scholars. But what is li and how did it work? This article argues that li helped organize political order and informed bureaucratic operations in the Qing dynasty, and can be understood as a form of administrative law. Although scholars have previously associated li with penal law and with sociopolitical organization, they have shown neither how concepts were translated into practice in the context of the Qing dynasty, nor how these practices fit together as a system of administrative law. This article looks at the formation of the Qing system li as the political and administrative order, and explores the regulations for interaction, especially among and between the military, imperial relatives, and bureaucracy, and demonstrates how the names, ranks, and positions fit together in a cohesive system that came to be codified into law. The article first examines the expressions of contemporary state-makers and their ideas of order and state operations, and then shows how these were translated into practice in clothing, greetings, entourages, and ceremonies. The article then discusses why political actors agreed to such a setup and how they continued to reproduce it.

Suggested Citation

Keliher, Macabe, Li as Administrative Law: Political Stratification and the Construction of Qing Administrative Order in Seventeenth-Century China (June 6, 2015). Fudan Law Review, no. 3 (2016), Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 347, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2791260

Macabe Keliher (Contact Author)

West Virginia University ( email )

WVU Dept History
1515 University Ave
Morgantown, WV West Virginia 26506
United States

HOME PAGE: http://history.wvu.edu/faculty-and-staff/faculty/macabe-keliher

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
72
Abstract Views
686
rank
435,760
PlumX Metrics