- Copyright Page
- About the Editors
- Abbreviated Titles for Max Weber’s Texts
- Chronology of Max Weber’s Life
- Max Weber Past, Present, and Future
- Economics and Society and the Fate of Liberal Capitalism
- Max Weber’s Analysis of Capitalism
- Money, Credit, and Finance in Capitalism
- Law and the Development of Capitalism
- Is There a Future for Bourgeois Liberalism?
- Contemporary Capitalism and the Distribution of Power in Society
- Weberian Social Theory: Rationalization in a Globalized World
- Democracy, Partisanship, and Civil Society
- Nation, Nation-State, and Nationalism
- The Weberian City, Civil Society, and Turkish Social Thought
- The Modern State and Its Monopoly on Violence
- The Relevance of Weber’s Conception and Typology of <i>Herrschaft</i>
- The Supranational Dimension in Max Weber’s Vision of Politics
- Plebiscitary Politics and the Threats to Legality: Some Classical Insights on a Current Phenomenon
- Politics and Ethics, and the Ethic of Politics
- Max Weber’s Ethics for the Modern World
- Max Weber and the Late Modernization of Catholicism
- The “Disenchantment of the World” or Why We Can No Longer Use the Formula as Max Weber Might Have Intended
- The Literati and the Dao: Vernacular and Nation in China
- Class, Caste, and Social Stratification in India: Weberian Legacy
- Including Islam
- The Study on Ancient Israel and Its Relevance for Contemporary Politics
- The Rationalizations of Culture and Their Directions
- Max Weber and the Sociology of Music
- Contemporary Life Conduct and Existential Cultures
- From Occidental Rationalism to Multiple Modernities
- Max Weber and the Idea of the Occident
- Intellectuals, Scholars, and the Value of Science
- The Iron Cage in the Information Age: Bureaucracy as Tangible Manifestation of a Deep Societal Phenomenon
- Causation, Value Judgments, <i>Verstehen</i>
- Realism and Reality in Max Weber
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter develops the argument that China is a civilizational state and follows a trajectory different from that of the Western nation-state. Weber is correct in selecting features of Chinese culture and social and political structure that stand in contrast to Western forms of rationalization: the role of magic, the particularism of guilds, the absence of the Western polis and Roman law, and the universalism demanded of Christianity in contrast to the religions of southeast Asia. Following Sheldon Pollock’s The Language of the Gods in the World of Men, the nature of language itself differentiates Latin in the West, Sanskrit in south and southeast Asia, and Chinese analogical language in China. Language, or langue-pensée, has a determining effect on stratification and configurations of power, especially in the development of the vernacularization of language as a precondition for the nation-state. China, in contrast to India and the West, resisted vernacularization. It is as if the West had kept to the Latin of the Holy Roman Empire. The nature of Chinese language therefore is intrinsic to the civilization and imperial state in China to this day.
Scott Lash is visiting professor, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, and senior research associate at the Centre on Migration Policy and Study at Oxford University. He has written twelve books translated into fifteen languages. His recent books are Experience: New Foundations for the Human Sciences (2018) and China Constructing Capitalism: Economic Life and Urban Change (co-author; 2014).
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