This book is a political history of global attempts to reduce politics to science and the results of such an attempt in modern China. The book follows the discourses and activities of a special group of local officials in China’s Nationalist government (1928-1949). These officials had been students or faculty at the Central Politics School (CPS): the only national university in modern Chinese history that trained professional bureaucrats according to the blueprint of American science of public administration conceived by Frank Goodnow. Through its accounts of how these officials handled land administrative reforms, the battlefront state-building during World War II, and rebellions of ethnic minorities, the book discusses why some of the most talented CPS officials resorted to non-modern humanistic political techniques and achieved a Chinese statecraft more efficient and sustainable than science. As such, the book invites readers to think whether science and the rational-legal authority proposed by Woodrow Wilson and Max Weber, is a proper conceptual framework for understanding politics in China and the rest of world.

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The Central Politics School and Local Governance in Nationalist China: Toward a Statecraft beyond Science has been published