This book brings together a group of leading scholars from China and the West to provide an unprecedented assessment of the nature, origins and historical influence of the Political Economy that developed during the Han dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). Following an Introduction that sets out the background to the period, successive chapters deal with topics including theoretical and ideological developments during the Han, monetary and fiscal policy, land ownership and distribution, the role of the state, and the provision of support to the needy. A recurring theme is that the Political Economy of the Han was to exercise a profound and, in the opinion of some contributors, a malign influence over China’s subsequent development, even to the present day.
List of contributors; Acknowledgements; Chapter 1: The Political Economy of the Han: Introduction, Terry Peach; Chapter 2: From Contention to Unification: Transformation of Economic Thought in the Han Dynasty and its Heritage, Cheng Lin and Zhang Shen; Chapter 3: Dong Zhongshu and Confucian Economic Thought as State Ideology in the Western Han Dynasty, Zhong Xiangcai; Chapter 4: The Monetary and Fiscal System of the Western and Eastern Han Dynasties, Ma Tao and Li Wei; Chapter 5: Monetary Thought in the Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms Period (220 BCE-280 CE), Gavin S.H. Chiu and S.C. Kwan; Chapter 6: The System of Tribute Equalisation in the Han, Li Chaomin; Chapter 7: War Economy in the Western Han Dynasty, Elisa Levi Sabattini; Chapter 8: The ‘Land Quota’ System in the Han Dynasty and its Historical Influence, Wang Fang; Chapter 9: A Western Perspective on the Yantie lun, Bertram Schefold; Chapter 10: Sima Qian and Laissez Faire: Satire on a ‘Discordant and Degenerate Age’, Terry Peach; Index