Social Order through Contracts: A Study of the Qingshui River Manuscripts
日期:2021-09-06  点击量:
作  者:
Jian Qu
This book is the first Western-language monograph on the study of the Qingshui River manuscripts. By examining over 3,000 contracts and other manuscripts, this book offers constructive insights into the long-standing question of how and why a society in late imperial China could maintain a well-functioning social system with few...more
Springer, 2021

Chapter 1  Introduction

1  The Story of the Wealthiest Man

2  A Contract Society? Research Question and State of the Field

3  Sources: The Qingshui River Region and Beyond

4  Analytical Framework and Synopsis


Chapter 2  Rediscovering Contracts in the Qingshui River Region

1  Introduction

2  Contracts: Legal Definitions and Chinese Practice

3  Contents of a Contract: Beyond Agreement

4  Identifying Contracts by Form: The Internal and External

5  Paper Matters: The Materiality of Contracts

6  The Tripartite Structure of Contracts: A Theory

7  Conclusion


Chapter 3  Middlemen

1  Introduction: Understanding Middlemen Within a Contract

2  The Primary and the Secondary: Formation and Restoration

3  The Primary Level: Introducers, Witnesses, and Guarantors

4  The Secondary Level: Arbitrators and Peacemakers

5  The Middleman as the Third Party and the Third Party as the Middleman

6  Conclusion


Chapter 4  Scribes

1  Introduction: Taking Scribes Seriously

2  The Demand for Scribes

3  Drafting of a Contract by a Scribe

4  The Scribe’s Fee

5  Conclusion


Chapter 5  The Functioning Mechanism of Contracts in the Society

1  Introduction: Contracts in Their Context

2  The Question of Honoring Contracts: Departing from the myth of Enforcement

3  Recognition and the Rightfulness of the Contract

4  Making Recognition Provable: The Publicity and Perpetuity of Contracts

5  In Contract we Trust? A Blockchain-Like Trust Network

6  Restoration of Order: Challenges from Breaches and Forgeries

7  Private Contracts and Public Order: Public Issues and Limitations

8  Conclusion


Chapter 6  Conclusion

Appendix: A List of the Qingshui River Manuscripts