June 19, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Hill Publishes Article on Elections and Campaigning in 20th-Century China

Dr. Joshua Hill, Assistant Professor of History at Ohio University, published an article on “Seeking Talent at the Voting Booth: Elections and the Problem of Campaigning in the Late Qing and Early Republic” in the October 2013 issue of the journal Twentieth-Century China.

Abstract: Early twentieth-century Chinese governments experimented with competitive elections for legislative office. In the hundred years since these elections, historians and others have argued over whether they are best understood as “failures” for producing weak, easily manipulated government or as “successes” that heralded the potential for Chinese democracy. An examination of print media discourse from the time of these elections, however, reveals a profound discomfort with voting that was independent of, and prior to, the seating of any elected government. In particular, the repeated condemnation of election “campaigning” pointed to a series of philosophical and intellectual problems presented by elections as a form of selection. By analyzing complaints about “campaigning” as a discourse with a particular resonance within the political culture of the late Qing and early Republic, I push beyond considerations of “success” or “failure” to analyze the tensions between expectations for, and the actuality of, early twentieth-century elections.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *