Meritocracy and Dynasticism in Ancient and Medieval China

The sub-project investigates two competing modes of justifying ‘Herrschaft’ in premodern China: one by virtue of competence, the other by virtue of descent. It rests on the assumption that the main institutions of monarchic rule, e. g. remonstrance or court conferences, can be conceived of as mechanisms to equilibrate these two legitimatory claims. The focus is on the application of meritocratic principles of recruitment in the early Chinese Empire as well as on the institution of usurpation, which enabled meritocratic elites to replace the dynastic ruler and realign the two ways of legitimizing rule, establishing a ‘coopetitive’ balance once again.

Project Manager

Avatar Schwermann

Prof. Dr. Christian Schwermann

Chinese Studies

Raum 3.11

Universitätsstraße 134

44780 Bochum


Study Region

3rd Century B.C. - 13th Century A.D.

Study Period

Wird geladen