Tianxia, imperial ambition or cosmopolitanism (4)

We could add this book to the list of recent studies dealing with the concept of tianxia.

Cosmopolitanism in China, 1600–1950, by Minghui Hu and Johan Elverskog (Cambria Press, 2016), is a book that—as its title states—examines cosmopolitanism in China. According to R. Bin Wong (Distinguished Professor of History at UCLA and Director of the UCLA Asia Institute), “This book provides a wide-ranging display of the ways in which ‘cosmopolitanism’ has meaning in China, c. 1600–c. 1900 and how these possibilities were reduced subsequently. Significantly, the volume shows the meanings of cosmopolitanism for different kinds of people in Qing China, including Manchus, Muslims, Koreans (in relation to the Qing, if not in the Qing). It further explicates the multiple framings within which different modalities of cosmopolitanism were achieved, including Buddhist and Confucian. It also shows cosmopolitanism not merely as a feature of thought, but suggests implications of such approaches in matters of governance. Creating multiple challenges to conventional views of early modern and modern China, this important book offers opportunities to craft a more sensible and persuasive understanding of how China’s early modern regional world became part of a late twentieth-century Inner Asian and East Asian world region.” This book is in the Cambria Sinophone World Series, headed by Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania)

Posted by Ben Goodman <bgoodman@cambriapress.com>

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