War and State Formation in Ancient China and Early Modern Europe
There is a common belief that the system of sovereign territorial states and the roots of liberal democracy are unique to European civilization and alien to non-Western cultures. The view has generated popular cynicism about democracy promotion in general and China's prospect for democratization in particular. This book demonstrates that China in the Spring and Autumn and...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published July 1st 2005 by Cambridge University Press
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Sounds like a dry academic text, and it is. But it makes an interesting and unusual argument for why China and Europe have ended up politically centralized and divided, respectively. And I learned a lot about China's 'Spring and Autumn' and 'Warring States' periods, when life was nasty brutish and short, and there arguably was not yet a concept of a 'China'.