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THE CHINESE EXAMINATION INTERREGNUM: Civil S ervice Testing in China Before and A fter The Century of Humiliation BY NOLAN EZEKIEL BENSEN A Thesis Submitted to the Divisions of Social Sciences and Humanities New College of Florida In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Barbara Hicks Sarasota, Florida May, 2013
! ii Dedicated to Chris Borglum of the Valencia College faculty Consummate educator, trivia lover, and friend For having suggested, Why don't you memorize the dynasties and we'll see where it goes from there?'
! iii Table of Contents Glossary . . . . . . . v Abstract . . . . . . . x Introduction . . . . . . . 1 Chapter 1: Civil Service Institutions across Time . . . 5 Using a Histor ical Ins t u t ionalis t Approach . . . 9 Using a Compara t ive Public Adminis t ra t ion Approach . . 13 Conclusion . . . . . . 18 Chapter 2: The Kejuzhi . . . . . 19 Contempora ry Literature on the Kejuzhi . . . 20 The History of Class Competition through the Kejuzhi . . 22 Institutional Structure of the Kejuzhi . . . . 25 The Kejuzhi 's Competitors over the Longue Duree . . 32 Chapter 3: The Gaokao and Gongwuyuan Kaoshi . 34 China's Recent History of Education F or and Within the Civil Service 35 The Path to and T hrough the Civil Service Today in Mainland China 39 Content of Standardized Tests Toward the PRC Civil Service . 42 Competition for the PRC Civil Service Today . . . 46 Chapter Four : The Two Cases in Comparison . . . . 50 The Literature Comparing the Kejuzhi and Gaokao . . 52 Original Comparison of the Kejuzhi and Gaoako . . . 56 References . . . . . . . 62
! iv List of Figures Figure 2.1. Institutional Structure of the Late Qing Kejuzhi . . 27 Figure 2.2. Detail of the Kejuzhi 's Progression of Degrees and Subt ests . 30 Figure 2.3. Question Topics in the Late Qing Metropoli tan and Palace Tests . 32 Figure 3.1. Urban vs. Rural Income Gap in China, 1978 2008 . . 47 Figure 3.2. Comparative Employment by Sector in the PRC, 19 58 2011 . 48
! v Glossary of Terms 1993 Provisional Regulations on State Civil Servants An assemblage of new rul es and targets intended to transforma the PRC's cadre system into a more regularized Western style civil service. Cadre In Marxist Leninist thought, a cadre is a full time revolutionary. Post revolution, a cadre is anyone who works for the revolutionary state professionally. This includes civil servants of all kinds, as well as politicians, who enter their careers in China by the same route as civil servants. Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party A body composed of about 350 party representatives, selected for five year terms, that appoints members of the Politburo, its Standing Committee, and the Central Military Commission. In practice, the Central Committee acts as a rubber stamp when it meets, validating decisions already made by the Standing Committee. Civil Service Law The 2005 culmination of a twelve year pilot project in the form of the PRC s 1993 Provisional Regulations on State Civil Servants. The earlier policy initiatives began a process of professionalization and tepid liberalization in the civil service, a major part of Dengism s overall acceptance of some forms of Westernization. The Civil Service Law itself revised the Provisional Regulations and established the bulk of them as core principles of the Chinese bureaucracy going forward. Chinese Communist Party Zhongguo Gongchandang The par ty led by Mao Zedong that survived the Long March, expanded its membership afterward, retook China s east coast from the Guomindang and then forcibly unified the whole of what had once been within the borders of the Qing empire. Empress Wu Zhao In the mid Tang dynasty this favorite concubine of Emperor Gaozong seized power and held it for two decades, first as Dowager Empress and regen t on behalf of a series of her sons, and then as Emperor under the name of a newly established Second Zhou Dynasty. Four Modernizations Zhou Enlai's 1963 prescription for China's economic and educational future. They were not instituted under Mao, but Deng Xiaoping wasted no time in promoting them after the Chairman's death in 1976. They are: agriculture, industry, national defense, and science and technology. Gaige k aifang Reform and Opening. This ongoin g series of reforms began as economic in nature, referred to someti mes as "Socialism with Chinese C haracteristics," but have since extended outward into many realms of political economy. The most straightforward way to think of this weighty body of reforms is to consider them extensions of economic practices that successfully focus on
! vi growth alone, whether legal or illegal under Maoism, plucked from Special Ec onomic Zones and former t reaty p orts and spread throughout the country. Dengism as a new approach to Chinese governance is discussed in Ch. 3 Gaokao Abbreviation for ; Common High Ranking School Recruitment National Unified Test. Also referred to in English as the Natio nal Higher Entrance Examination hen ceforth Gaokao or NCEE T his examination is very directly China's equivalent of the SAT Reasoning Test but with much more far reaching social consequences for examinees See Ch. 3 for more on the Gaokao Gongwuyuan Kaoshi "Civil Service T est in mainland China. In Taiwan this test's equivalent is also referred to as the Gaokao Students typically specialize in subjects like politics, regional cultures within China, or economics on their college entrance examinations then attend a socialism co llege or administration school, in order to reach the level of the Gongwuyuan Kaoshi Those who pass this more rigorous test gain entry to the lower civil service, and must work their way up through the ranks via internal review promotion and intermitten t periods of education at party schools See Ch. 3 for more on the Gongwuyuan Kaoshi Great Leap Forward Dayuejin One of Mao s many cultural revolutions, this was an effort to produce large food and s teel surplus es that would fuel a national industrial marathon, hopefully resultin g in industrial parity with more developed countries. Instead, cadres everywhere patriotically exaggerated their region's capacity to grow food, and people all over China melted their metal goods down in shoddy "backyard furnace" efforts. In the end, tens of millions starved due, in part, to the government's stubbornness in accepting that predictions had been highly exaggerated and therefore relaxing their regional grain quotas. Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution Wenhua Dageming This culmination of the many overlapping cultural revolutions during the first three decades of Communist Party rule soured Chinese leaders and citizens alike on Mao's endless struggle to break with the overbearing past. Universities were closed during it, and their students encouraged to travel China bringing landlords to public justice and destroying relics of premodern Chinese culture. Students overthrew the city offices of Shanghai, were suppressed b y the army with Mao's consent, and eventually were told to go and experience the humble life of a farmer, in order to put an end t o the disorder that marked this period. Guomindang "National People's Party;" the political party of Sun Yat Sen, Jiang Jieshi ( Chiang Kai Shek ) and many others who wished to see a Western style capitalist republic inherit the unified identity of the Qing dynasty. Throughout the early 20 th century, it warred with the Chinese Communist Party a nd the expanding Japanese empir e and eventually was forced to flee to Taiwan to maintain itself. This party p refers to have its name romanized Kuomintang
! vii according to the Wade Giles system that was not created by the People's Republic, and written using traditional Chinese characters, likewise unaltered by PRC language policies. Hanlin Academy "An imperial advisory institution that later evolved into the key group of ministers advising the emperor" (Elman 2000, 11) Jinshi "Presented Scholar;" a graduate of the uppermost, or "Palace," level of the examinations. Test takers qualifying for this level of the examination were already guaranteed gainful state e mployment. Those gran ted this degree immediately entered the senior c ivil service regardless of their age or experience outside of the testing halls. Kejuzhi "System for Promotion;" The Chinese name for the imperial civil service examinations. This sys tem consisted of four stages of examinations. The first was held regularly in rotating locations throughout the empire and qualified one to receive tax breaks and, of course, to take the next one. That second test was held triennially in regional capital citi es and qualified one to progress immediately to the "Metropolitan Examination" in the imperial capital. Those who succeeded at that took a fourth test before the emperor himself, known as the "Palace Examination," in order to acquire Jinshi degrees. See Ch .2 for a more complete description of this process. Kexue Jishu Science and technology. Deng Xiaoping said that the three modernizations in agriculture, industry, and national defense all depended upon this one. Since about that time, kexue jishu have been prioritized in Chinese education and in popular culture. Much like the United States' buzzword acronym S.T.E.M., these words carry with them a host of connotations to do with global competitiveness, dysfunction in education, and the unpredictabi lity of what jobs and skills the next generation will need to have. Long March Changzheng The escape of an estimated surviving 10% of China s Communist Party members, in 1934 from the Guomindang controlled Southeast to the rural and mountainous, warlo rd controlled Northwest. An estimated 10% of the original 10% survived the March, and during it, the Comintern agent Otto Braun lost favor due to the CCP s catastrophic loss despite following his advice, and Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai recovered the favor he and others lost, becoming for the first time the undisputed leaders of the party. Minban Schools "Run by the People" p rimary schools run for and by local communities with little to no financial assistance from the state. These were intended to ease th e transition from local private run schools in imperial China to compulsory education under the PRC; to realize the Marxist Leninist goal of making labor, including educational labor, less divided; and above all else, to save the state money. They were don e away with in the Cultural Revolution.
! viii Neo Confucianism or Studies of the Way or Daoxue Lixue or Song Ming Lixue are all terms for an ideology developed by Zhu Xi, the Cheng brothers, and others during the Song dynasty. It differed from previous forms of Confucianism by a ttempting to take on metaphysical significance, and thereby supplant Buddhism in the spiritual lives of adherents whom the Mandarinate wished to dissuade from identifying as Buddhist. During the second m illennium, Zhu Xi's commentary on the works of Confucius and Mencius became orthodox in that would be civil servants were required to demonstrate their familiarity with his ideas. New Public Management A set of methodologies incorporating strategies learn ed from the private sector, and from public administration scholars themselves, into systems for managing state bureaucracies today. These methods began as advice offered to governments but have since become touted as the future of the world's bureaucracie s. N ine Rank System The method of recommendation and promotion used in the civil service after the Eastern Han dynasty, until it was significantly altered under the Tang. It divided men of talent into nine rankings, and the primary determinants of a high ranking were high bi rth and influential patronage within the bureaucracy. Opium Wars Yapian Zhanzheng The wars among China, France, Russia, and Great Britain in the 1830s and 18 40s, begun as a dispute over the rights of British traders to export opium into China, and co ncluding with the Unequal Treaties t hat created the coastal t rea t y p orts, thereby inaugurating the Century of Humiliation. People's Republic of China The government of mainland China since 1949. Usually referred to as PRC Princeling Taizidang The child, almost always male, of a famous and influential Communist Party member of the previous generation(s). Though party members of that era were strongly dis couraged from amassing wealth or consuming conspicuously, Dengism has brought investors and adve rtisers to their doorsteps, and to those of their children. Both find it possible to live without many of the legal and social burdens their fellow citizen s bear. Scramble for China Period in the late 19 th century in which most imperial powers sought the same concessions from the Qing government that the UK, Russia, the US, and France had already compelled them to grant. China 's most lucrative ports were gi ven over fully to European rule and sweeping privil eges were established for all Europeans living in China.
! ix Shengyuan The degree conferred by the "juvenile" examinations, those required before one could take part in the Kejuzhi proper. Shengyuan degree holders were exempted from corvee labor and some taxes, greatly respected in their local communities, certified to teach and tutor, and even protected from indictment for minor criminal charges. Special Economic Zones Jingji Tequ Regions of the PRC in which economic regulations are more lax than u sual. These include man y of the former treaty ports, wh ich naturally underwent greater industrializion and thus liberalization, compared to the rest of China, as well as Hong Kong, in which many freedoms enjoyed under British rule are gradually being phased out. Even as Hong Kong is rendered more like mainland China, all China is coming to m ore greatly resemble the SEZ's with China's liberalization as a whole. The Spring and Autumn Period The time of Confucius, in which The Spring and Autumn of Lu or Spring and Autumn Annals was written, one of the five great classics of Chinese thought Yamen A term that denoted both government bureaus in charge of various administrative tasks, such as the Zongli Yamen that oversaw the empire's diplomacy from 1861 1901, and the physical spaces in which the administrative work was done much like "office" in English. In addition to specialized yamen at the top of the imperial structure, there were more versatile local y amen where governors, prefects, and their clerks did the work of connecting Beijing and their assigned locality. Youth League Zhongguo Gongchanzhuyi Qingniantuan Formally the Communist Youth League of China, the structu re of this organization is mode led on that of the Party. Staffing practices for government offices give preferential hiring to former members of the Youth League, and elite schools preferentially accept them.
! x THE CHINESE EXAMINATION INTERREGNUM Nolan Ezekiel Bensen New College of Florida, 2013 ABSTRACT Asking t he ques t ion of whe t her China's con t emporary civil service t es t ing ins t i t u t ions in any way resemble t hose t ha t s t affed t he Qing dynas t y's bureaucracies, t his s t udy finds t ha t t hey fil t er similar popula t ions: families near t he coas t growing in weal t h and influence, in bo t h cases. I t fur t hermore infers t ha t t hese popula t ions under t he Qing would have cons t i t u t ed a bourgeoisie, had t hey no t been recrui t ed ou t of t ha t class and t rained no t t o iden t ify wi t h i t as par t of t heir recrui t men t W i t h regard t o t he presen t day, i t concludes t ha t t hese popula t ions do cons t i t u t e a bourgeoisie, t ha t t heir examiners t oday are part of t ha t same group and t hus do no t discourage membership in i t and t ha t t his has been so since some t ime af t er Deng Xiaoping ini t ia t ed t he Reform and Opening movemen t Barbara Hicks Professor of Poli t ical Scien ce
! 1 Introduction This s t udy is a n inves t iga t ion of possible continuity from premodern China to contemporary China. It takes as its objects of comparison the institutional processes testing individuals for contribution to the civil service s of each state. The late Qing d ynasty and the People's Republic of China are about as different as any two states in the same place before and after colonialism, the world over. There is continuity to be found between them, however. Bo t h s t a t es have main t ained a s t rong political centralism, as already shown by Feng (1995) as well as a s t rong desire to turn young weatlhy educated people into talented but loyal state ideologues. This study unearths a major discont inuity, showing that the effort to indoctrinate young well educated individuals was very successful in imperial China be fore the Century of Humiliation, as well as in Maoist China immediately following it, but that post Deng China does no t use its testing apparatuses very effectively t o transform exceptional examinees. Moreover, this transformation in i mperial China w as a slow
! 2 historical process, beyond the lifetimes of any individual examinees, in which potential members of a Chinese bou rg e oisie were drawn out of that class before it could fully form amputating every politically useful limb the group could otherwise have grown The relative failure of Chinese civil service testing today at transforming examinees means that a bourgeoisie has formed, has restructured the civil service and recrui t ment for that body around itself, and has ensured that said recruitment wil l cease to undo it as a class in the future. Chapter one explains this study's choice of the pre Opium War Qing dynasty and the post Deng People's Republic o f China as cases. It also reviews the relevant literature in the fields of historical institutional ism and comparative public administration, in order t o jus t ify a projec t as unusual as t his one. M any con t emporary compara t ive public adminis t ra t ion t heoris t s forsake t he longue duree perspec t ive t ha t t heir forebear Max Weber, and t heir peers prac t icing his t orical ins t i t u t ionalism have employed t o grea t effec t The lack of a s t udy like t his one may be chalked up t o t he undercurren t s of Eurocen t rism and presen t ism t ha t s t ill plague compara t ive p ublic adminis t ra t ion. A clan perspec t ive assessing t his ins t i t u t ion s effec t on t he Ming and Qing eli t e over t he course of cen t uries is t herefore employed here. Chapter two is a case study of the Kejuzhi or imperial examination system, as it existed at the turn of the 19 th century and during that century's early decades, before the Opium Wars shattered Chinese leaders' dreams of a sinocentric world order. It includes a brief review of the 20 th century's literature on the imperial examinations, a summary of the institution's formation and history up to the 19 th century, and a detailed description of that institution's structure as seen from the perspective of an examinee rising through a
! 3 lifetime's worth of tests. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how well such an e xaminee was prepared by their education for officialdom, and an excursus on the social significance of this institution for Chinese clans, which sought to outdo each other by success both in marriage and in examination and officialdom. One main finding of this analysis is that it was the Kejuzhi that kept the Chinese bourgeoisie in check. Chapter three is a case study of the Gaokao and Gongwuyuan Kaoshi the two crucial tests one must pass in order to become a civil servant today in China and through the m, China's whole stru cture of elite recruitment It traces t he history of these institutions, just as chapter two does for the Kejuzhi though this history necessarily covers a much shorter timespan in much greater detail. The rest of the chapter is devoted to two translations of Gaokao questions and three translations of Gongwuyuan Kaoshi questions and analys e s of t hem in order to pres ent examples of exactly what knowledge separates a would be civil servant from an actual one in China today. While the concluding analysis of the chapter focuses on immediate families rather than clans, it arrives at analogous conclusions concerning the na ture of Chinese class competition through the national examination system and up the ranks of the civil service. Chapte r four compares the cases and infers what features of Chinese standardized testing have survived the Century of Humiliation, what feature s have been transformed and what the testing systems' implications are for the nature of the civil service in each era Its first half is a review of extant wo rks that explicitly compare the two systems The chapter takes the limitations of Feng (1995) w hich sees political centralism as a continuity from pre to post modern China bu t which canno t have foreseen t he effec t s of t he 1993 Provisional Regula t ions on S t a t e Civil Servan t s as its jumping point into
! 4 original comparison. I t makes the case that Chinese testing for the civil service serves the same purpose it did under Mao and under the emperors to simultaneously recruit the best of the bourgeoisie 's next generation into officialdom, and undo their identification with the b ourgeoisie as a group but that it accomplishes this goal so poorly today that a velvet bourgeois revolution has effectively taken place.
! 5 Chapter One Civil Service Ins titutions across Time Comparisons of modern societies with their predecessors before modernity are not often conducted. In studies of Europe, waters hed years such as 1848 are usually regarded as bold lines across which only historians of the transition from the earlier period to that after it may travel. Other scholars of various types tend always to specialize in a society or region in either its modern form, or in the period befo re that society is considered to have entered into modernity. Scholars of a transitional p eriod, such as those who study the birth of nationalism or of democracy or science, can devote their studies to the moment of tr ansition alone, publishing whole volumes with titles like 1848 or 1776 (Stearns 1974 ; McCulloug h 2005; Rappor t 2009 ) This level of detail is admirable in scholarship, but studying a transition also means examining that which was beforehand and that which came afterward sometimes many years afterward. In some societies more than others, there exists a great deal of continuity acr oss the transition to modernity.
! 6 And in some societies more than others, that transition was a slow and highly observable process. China is one such society. The borders of the People's Republic today are markedly similar to those of the Qing dynasty of 16 44 to 1911 Today, Beijing acts as a center of government with more centralization and more authority, than exists in most of the world's states. Under the Qing, d espite the fact that China's people ironically refer to that time period as "feudal," China also possessed arguably t he most centralized and highest capacity bureaucracy in the world. But that world saw many of the aforementioned transitions during the period of Manchurian ethnic rule in China. The fact of that continued rule in spite of those transitions of China's steadfast cleaving to its own trad itional ways even as seafaring empire, Newtonian mathematics, and coal technology overtook the world evinces the Qing state's near absolute authority. This constancy in China, throughout what is elsewhere considered to have been the Early Modern period, is part of another matter of import to this study : these transitions were not p revented from coming about in China but only delayed. Westernization spread in China, primarily out of the treaty ports, just as it would in Iran, Turkey, and some of the world 's other most stringently traditionalist polities Because i t was delayed, China's overall transition to modernity is a very different thing from those of Europe and the Americas. It cannot be boiled down to a single decade or moment the outcome of a war or the signing of a treaty. It does not look like the Meiji Restoration in Japan or the Tanzimat Reforms in the Ottoman Empire. It started before these events, with the first Opium War, and ended after them, at some indefinable
! 7 point in time when the Guo mindang managed to extend its network of alliances with local sovereign warlords over a sufficient portion of the country. Or did it end earlier, when the Guomindang gained a sufficient foothold within the partly industrialized former treaty ports along th e East coast alone ? Or did it end only in 1949, when Mao Zedong and the Communist Party emerged victorious from years of civil war and began to shore up their control over a unified China ? A book like 1848 published on China would need to have the title The 19 th and 20 th Centur ies From the first bombardment of coastal cities by Great Britain in 1839, all the way to the end even of the Cultural Revolution of the 1970s, moments of stability that could be called the beginning of a new lasting regime in Chin a have been scarce. That is w hy the earlier part of this 150 year period is sometimes referred to in China as "The Century of Humiliation." The fact that mismanagement of the Chinese state continued after this "century" had ended, and that its people did n ot live under anything resembling most modern states until the 1980s, was part of what allowed Deng Xiaoping and his cadre to make sweeping changes there. Due to their influence, China functions again today, for the first time in nearly two centuries, with a high degree of bureaucratic capacity and without warranted fear of impending famine or civil war. These facts are what make China in 1838 comparable to China in 1998. A comparison of Russia before and after modernity might have to look as far back as Pe ter the Great's rise to power and his quest to emulate modernizing European states, and as far forward as Glasnost when Russia began to adopt the liberal economic principles common to nearly all other states now called "modern." This project is similar. A more conventional approach on the part of that Russian specialist would be to compare Russia
! 8 before and after the Bolshevik Revolution. Such a periodization does not fit China Before China's much more protracted revolution, regions of it not owned and op erated by European powers were far less modern ized than some in Russia, and after it, the Chinese socialist state functioned with much lower capacity a much slower pace of industrialization, and a much higher incidence of endemic social strife than did th e Sovie t state In other words, China's modernization happened much more slowly than Russia's, even if both spent about the same amount of time as a totalitarian command economy that pariah of uniquely modern states and even if both are arriving at functional economi c liberalism around the same time. For these reasons, a comparison of earlier and later periods is necessary if the factors of social stability and its correlate bureaucratic stability are to be held constant. For those periods I have chosen two decades. T hese are the 1830s, just before the First Opium War shattered China's sense of its power and security, and the 2000s, when China came to be regarded as a state reentering the community of great powers. The latter is also the most current decade on which sc holarship can reflect with a sufficiently objective retrospection. Like Ming and Qi ng China, today's People's Republic is a land of expanding cities, expanding boundaries, and growing wealth. Like those states, it has a government comprised of children boo sted through the education system by their parents' wealth, and then screened to ensure that they profess greater loyalty to the regime than to those parents. This was not so prior to Dengism. Nepotism was the openly acknowledged rule of the day in early c ommunist China and even as Mao maintained luxurious safe houses and a harem that travelled with him on his personal train, he strictly enforced the
! 9 maintenance of a humble lifestyle upon even the uppermost of China's bureaucrats. By and large, government employment neither made one rich, nor was reserved for the rich. An economy purposefully kept stagnant, and sometimes thrown into the turmoil of events like the Great Leap Forward and th e Cultural Revolution, further prevented civil servants from living in luxury Stability and profitability have now come together in China, and a s the ability of elite families to pay has risen so too has the cost of an education It is up to those who craft the Gaokao and Gongwuyuan Kaoshi today to screen the capable from those endowed with that ability to pay just as it was up to a certain stratum of low performing Kejuzhi graduates in Imperial China to recreate themselves as a class. The task of Chinese civil servant educators for the f irst lasting stretch since that country was submerged in pandemonium in the mid nineteenth century, has again become that of sifting through the nouveau riche for those they expect to cast off their loyalty to that group, and take up loyalty to the state a s their first priority. Using a Histor ical Institutionalist Approach Skocpol and Pierson (2002 ) consider historical institutionalism to be an approach in political science that takes a longer view of historical processes, brings out less noticed trends, and knits together more of its counterparts' ideas and methods, than do those counterparts on their own. They point to it as the largely unrecognized umbrella under which many seminal studies have been nurtured and published, seminal precisely beca use they draw upon and affect all of the rest of the political and social sciences. For them,
! 10 historical institutionalism is the most difficult realm of political science to isolate, but a mong the most important to those realms' int eraction and integration as facets of social science. Hall and Taylor characterize historical institutionalists as scholars who accept "the contention that conflict among rival groups for scarce resources lies at th e heart of politics," but seek to define these conflicts, groups, and emergent politics more fully than their predecessors, the structural functionalists of the post war period (1996, 937). They even lay out four key traits of historical institutionalists, all of which come to bear in this comparison's approach: First, historical institutionalists tend to conceptualize the relationship between institutions and individual behavior in relatively broad terms. Second, they emphasize the asymmetries of power associated with the operation and development of institutions. Third they tend to have a view of institutional development that emphasizes path dependence and unintended consequences. Fourth, they are especially concerned to integrate institutional analysis with the contribution that other kinds of factors, such as ideas, can mak e to political outcomes. ( 938) This comparison takes to heart all four of these injunctions First and second c lass based analysis is a hallmark of conceptualizing "asymmetries of power" in "broad terms," and this comparison attempts to use it in just such a w ay. Third it is a comparison of the development, and the path dependent redevelopment, of civil service screening institutions that are compared here; both sy stems are treated not as bodies of source material sitting and waiting for the researcher's attention, but as dynamic processe s undergoing constant revision. And fourth, cultural and ideological history play important roles in what factors will be held con stant here and what factors in comparison. The factors held constant here are that aspirants to these civil services consider themselves Chinese, are attempting to administer a state they and their examiners consider Chinese,
! 11 and are living in a time in wh ich they expect that state to prosper as long as they do their jobs well, of course. In addition, both examination processes include an element of ideological reeducation, but the content of the ideology and the blindness of the faith required in it are different in each state. Co mparing across the vast gulf that separates socialist China and traditional China requires a great deal of knowledge of both cultural milieus Thinking of the test as both a gatekeeper and a battleground also lends itself to anot her of Pierson's prescriptions for how to do historical institutionalist research. He writes that researchers of that ilk "need, as historian Fer nand Braudel famously put it, to remain attentive to the longue duree (2004, 158). Any question of the Kejuzhi Gaokao or Gongwuyuan Kaoshi is fundamental ly one of eliteness, and of which selective group of elites are fit to hold power even over other elites i n China; the exams structure the rules under which that entire class operates. That class is, in fact, mu ch more behold en to state regulations than are China's migrant workers or its sedentary village dwellers, both able to escape the system's notice at times. As a competition among the elite for greater eliteness, China's civil service testing is best concep tualized over the course of that longue duree : If occupants of elite positions possess resources that allow them to defend their positions against challenges, major changes in elite composition will often operate through slow moving processes of replacemen t. (Pierson 2004, 178) This is exactly the view this comparison takes from Elman (2000), of the decades leading from the major rearrangement of the Chinese elite during the Tang and Song dynasties (618 1279) to that elite's major rearrangement precipitated by the beginnings of European colonialism in China. Taking a n even longer view transforms China's
! 12 imperial testing world into something other than a realm in which families attempt to provide their bright sons a life of study and leisure, so t hat th e y can earn them coveted social status as a scholar and official. In the long term, this competition is revealed to be one among clans, which provide assistance to various of their family units, as they attempt to enrich themselves as a whole, place as many of their bright sons into government as possible, and finally, use this social bargaining chip to marry those sons with rich daughters of even more prestigious clans. This relationship is rendered into one of positive feedback by the facts of marr i age with a higher level family and clan kin ship with a government official increasing one's chances to do well on the test and to receive a good position after it. Due to great investments required even for a chance at success in the examinations, and the generally negative views within China toward successful merchants and other swift social climbers, changes in the examination and recruitment systems took place exceedingly slowly. Change happens faster in modern and postmodern societies, but something of the same process is occurring today, absent the presence of an overarching clan structure Families that already have a communist party member, or manage to make a member into one, necessarily possess greater social resources than their competitors. They seek to entrench this advantage by placing a party member within the state apparatus and in order to do so must usually inve st great sums of money in a c hild's education, preparing tha t child from birth to become a bureaucrat. Families having already expe rienced both of these windfalls find themselves well off in the constant matchmaking competitions that pervade all of China, and families that do not already possess one or the other of these advantages can use matchmaking to aid themselves in acquiring th em. In both time
! 13 periods, the ladder of success is climbed in alternating rungs marriage, a boy's overall education and testing, then marriage again with each one or two rungs representing one generation's effort. No approaches in the polit ical science discipline are better suited to consideration of so slow a process than the historical institutionalist approach Using a Compara tive Public Administration Approach Comparative public administration is a realm of scholarship unused to the diachronic perspective. Despite its forebear Max Weber's insistence on including pre modern societies in his analyses, public administ ration tends toward the consideration of short stretches of time, and toward more or less ahistorical statistical comparisons of rece nt events in largely similar states and regimes. By Weber's standards of variety, most public administration scholars compare modes of bureaucracy very near to the point of absolute convergence he predicted. Some have even proclaimed the arrival of that co nvergence already, in the form of the new global paradigm of public administration (Aucoin 1990; Osborn and Gaebler 1992; OECD 1993) Despite the vast differences in political economy policy between states li ke China and Great Britain, these researchers do ap pear to be right in that at least some of public administration's "best practices" have been adopted by nearly the whole of the world. The complete universe of public administration cases, however, includes many bureaucracies more unusual by today's sta ndards. This comparison is an attempt to bring one of those cases into the realm of comparability. It provides an example of how such a
! 14 study might be co nceptualized, by consider ing China's recent decades of civil service testing in the light of the phenomenon's many previous centuries of development. The utility of the Qing civil service as a case in comparative public administration can be seen in Weber's foundational studies. His ideal types and definitions of the most basic elements of bureaucracy were arrived at as ideal types should be after consideration of the widest possible array of likely data. His treatments of the premodern Indian and Chinese systems of public admini stration were crucial t o es tablishing the boundaries of bureaucracy, to discernment of what is administration without also being bureaucracy : As with Brahmanism in India, in China the literati have been the decisive exponents of the unity of culture. Terri tories (as well as enclaves) not administered by officials educated in literature, according to the model of the orthodox state idea, were considered heterodox and barbarian, in the same way as were the trib[es .] within the territory of Hinduism that were not recognized by the Brahmans, as well as the landscapes not organized as polis by the Greeks. The increasingly bureaucratic structure of Chinese polities and of their carriers has given to the whole literary tradition of China its characteristic sta mp. (Weber  2009, 416) Weber compares a truly global universe of cases and establishes that all recognized societies have system s of administration that exclude some groups and form lasting unified identities within others The Chinese is the only bureaucratic system of those he treats above, and he only considers it to have been "increasingly bureaucratic ; he holds that it never quite reached the form recognized by his ideal type That honor he reserves for Western Europe an syste ms of public administration, those today called "Weberian" in form. Those features that fairly young European systems of the day exhibited, and that the age old Chinese one did not wi ll be examined in detail in chapters 2 and 4 It suffices
! 15 to st a te here tha t imperial China's civil service met most of Weber's criteria save most significantly an institutionalized system for interna l promotion. T he competition for initial civil service employment expressed through the Kejuzhi approached the later European system's "tendency to levelling' in the interest of the broadest possible basis of recruitment in terms of technical expertise without ever becoming as level, and without recruiting in terms of technical expertise as Weber thought of it. Test takers were on a level in that a peasant could technically test his way directly into the civil service, and did on occasion However, recruitment was very exclusive both due to the monetary requirements of education and to the successi ve social privileges endowed on those passing successive levels of the examinations. Both of these hierarchies speak to the "tendency to plutocracy" that Weber posits is another outcome of an institutionalized bureaucracy, "growing out of the interest in t he greatest possible length of technical training." Again, this training was not technical in imperial China, but again, it did result in plutocracy just as in modern Western nation states (Weber  1963, 225). This plutocratic outcome is also present in the bureaucracy of the People's Republic in a form much more similar to that which it takes in contemporary Western governments Alt hough China's system of universities is markedly different from those of Europe and all of that continent's former colon ies, continuing integration and globalization are rendering all of them steadily more similar (Mok 2003) Rosen (1985) sees the educational reform that took place under Deng Xiaoping's auspices as a "bifurcation" of what had been an underfunded system technically equal for all entrants. The tw o systems emerging during and after the Four Modernizations of the 1970s and 19 80s are one treating the large majority of young Chinese in much the same way, and a
! 16 second system alongside it bringing large quantiti es of resources to the service of elite families' children. Rosen sees this smaller, better funded system as an elite educational sector intended to compete with the leading lights of more developed nations, primarily in the sciences but also, of course, i n the realm of public administration. Twenty years later, China's urban East Coast has become an entirely different realm from its inner reaches. The nouveau riche of the nation's center flock to that coast for the educational and employment opportunities provided there, and they seek to turn their children into the types of workers Deng and his fellow reformers hoped to create (Rosen 2004). Scientists were especially sought after, and still are, but civil servants make more desirable heirs for two interre lated reasons: their social sta tus throughout China's history, and the power they wield in such a regulatory state. Scientists and academics of all sort s may hold sway over the working of the Chinese academy from within, but civil servants regulate that in stitution from without. Even the Gongwuyuan Kaoshi used to screen future public servants, is controlled by the current generation of them. Those regulators in charge of the less advanced and more ubiquitous Gaokao play their own part in reproducing and co nstantly revising the process by which aspirants to the civil service find themselves admitted or rejected, as well. Civil service reform in China followed on the heels of education reform, and was simply one more aspect of Deng's Reform and Opening and Zhou Enlai's Four Modernizations. Unlike China's imperial bureaucracy, the civil services of the PRC before and after these reforms have been studied by public administration scholars extensively The reform process was among those said to be moving t he world toward a unified global paradigm conforming to the New Public Management, but Drewry and
! 17 Chan (2001) disagree with this conclusion. These reforms in the West are characterized by "downsizing, delayering, and decentralization," as they sum it up, w hich are "echo[ed]" in China's civil service reforms but not inspired by the same international movement ( Drewry and Chan 2001, 473). They quote Anthony Cheung in pointing out that these efforts in China ai[m] to improve efficiency and effectiveness of go vernment administration through building up a legal rational Weberian type bureaucracy, a system which iron ically is already being discredited and challenged by NPM type reforms of the West within a post bureaucratic perspective. (Cheung 1997, 448) In these authors eyes, China had yet to even achieve a basic Weberian bureaucracy as of the early 1990s. Its civil service under Mao fulfilled some of Weber's criteria but not others, and the state bureaucracy, utilized for decade after decade over so many s uccessive centuries, met some requirements and did no t meet others. In any case, China is envisioned as beginning to establish the sort of civil service European states have enjoyed for over a century. While this assessment may be on the mark, ironically, the rationalization of the civil service is making entry into it resemble the form it took in im perial China, as well as patterns in nineteenth century Europe, more than these authors would be willing to admit.
! 18 Conclusion The resemblance of China's current civil service gatekeeping to earlier European systems and to that of its own imperial era come s in the form of bourgeois competition for in clusion China's more staunch ly Marxist economic policies under Mao natura lly sought to disentangle wealth a nd education, but Deng, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao have given up on this goal in favor of finishing the process of modern development begun in China's coastal cities under colonialism and the threat of all out war. Part of the completion of that process me ans developing higher education systems that can interact with the rest of the world, and these seem to be taking the form of Europe's earlie r universities which were effectively closed to the non elite. The civil service that young men in China have univ ersally striven after for centuries is similarly closed to those at the bottom, just as it was in an earlier age of European civilization and was in China for so much longer. Those who c an afford it have always competed fiercely to place a family member i n China's civil service, and they continue to do so. China's contemporary westernizing society fosters this competition as a natural part of economic development, but that society's premodern equ ivalent kept a tight lid on such competition. It assiduously kept the bourgeoisie in a state of paradoxically low social status, squeezing their sons through the Kejuzhi by way of motivation to enter the genuine social elite. In effect, that system controlled the gradual growth of the bourgeoisie constantly turning th e cleverest and wealthiest of them into scholar gentry.
! 19 Chapter Two The Kejuzhi Chaffee wrote of imperial China that "the examination system clearly constituted the preeminent status hierar chy in Chinese society" ( 1985, 10). It had profound effects on those anticipating compet ition in it starting in their infancy and on the families of those failing and succeeding at it for many generations after their death. For over 500 years the traditional Chinese system achieved harmoniously and smoothly, with almost no resort to force, a degree of intellectual homogeneity eagerly sought, but so far scarcely attained, by the modern totalitarian systems. ( Franke 1960, 13) The Kejuzhi demanded professions of loyalty to a uniform id eology Neo Confucianism as it has often been called in English to a degree unmatched in modern societies. It also demanded a comprehensive knowledge of that ideology's founding texts. All of these features render the Kejuzhi an incomparable tool for un derstanding what it meant to be a scholar gentry in late imperial China, and what it meant not to be one. This chapter begins with a review a of few major studies on the Kejuzhi and then describe s the historical developments that helped to make it the mon olith it became under
! 20 the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368 1911) A summary of the many individual tests that made up the Kejuzhi and an analysis of the institutional structures by which those tests were connected a nd overseen follows This section provide s a thorough descrip tion of what Zhang (1955) called the "examination life. Studying that life, in turn, sheds light on the slow and weighty competition that was occurring in China ove r centuries, between nouveau riche families using clan connections to plac e their sons in the examination halls, and the descendants of similar families, already entrenched in the scholar gentry and utterly disdainful of social climbers who did not possess the trappings of examination success. The Contempora ry Literature on the Kejuzhi In the early twentieth century expatriate Chinese scholars sought to contrast the nature of their then recently failed institutions with those that were developing anew in both China and the West. T he civil service examination system of the Chinese dynastic empires was cast in a negative light. Yen (1913) provides a brief overview of the Kejuzhi and notes that "No wonder that Chinese thought furnishes a most striki ng case of arrested development." He attempts to rehabilitate Chinese history in Western eyes by alleging that one of the main upsides of the examinations was their "d emocratic character" ( 33 35). Clearly, he though t of the system as a histor ically exceptional functioning meritocracy, something t hat would also appeal to Western and Westernized modernists.
! 21 Later, historical sociologists such as Ping ti Ho and Edward Kracke began to wonder whether social mobility under the Kejuzhi could be rigorously studied and, if so, whether late imperial China might prove to have be en a much more fluid society than most scholars had previously suspected. Fairly limited analyses of late Qing lists of examination graduates and of their immediate paternal ancestors led them to believe this was so. Because a majority of the names they tr aced back did not appear again in the lists of jinshi or "Presented Scholar," degree holders, they concluded that many of China's jinshi during the Late Empire were first generation government employees (Kracke 1 947; Ho 1959). Eberhard (1962) produced an excellent contemporary onlooker's review and critique of this e ra of sinological inquiry As Eberhard predicted, the social mobility hypothesis, which reached its high water mark when Ho hazarded that late imperial Chinese social mobility might even surpa ss that of the nineteenth century United States, turned out not to be so (Ho 1962; Eberhard 1962). More recently, scholars have demonstrated the unreliability of such lists (Elman 1991, 18). Furthermore, detailed examinations of other dynastic periods have demonstrated that the late Qing, despite its being by far the most convenient period in terms of preservation of its documentary record, is not generalizable to all of imperial Chinese history. Foremost among these scholars today is Benjamin Elman. He con ceives of the Kejuzhi as a compromise between the imperial family and the wider bureaucratic elite, often referred to as China's scholar gentry class. First establishing that it was exceedingly rare for peasants to test their way into that group, Elman all eges that the Chinese gentry started by using the examinations to install their sons in government office in place of the sons of the smaller, more tight knit elite that had be e n the Chinese
! 22 feudal aristocracy before the Song Dynasty (960 1279) They then attempted to control the bureaucratic succession The various emperors used the system with and against this group, maintaining some degree of control over offices through it, and counting on it to reinforce the patrimonial values that undergirded their ru le over t he scholar gentry (Elman 2000). The History of Class Competition through the Kejuzhi The final, "palace" installment of the Kejuzhi 's many tests goes all the way back to the Han dynasties (206 BCE 220 CE) At that time, the palace examination took the form of an interview with the emperor reserved only for those with surpassing recommendations to carry them upward through the imperial bureaucracy E arly in the first millennium the Eastern Han dynasty (25 220 CE) lost much of its power, and large aristocratic families replaced it at the top of the Chinese social order. Throughou t many short lived dynasties and across many practically independent states, this class populated the bureaucracies of the weak imperial apparatus more or less as it saw fit, controlling the "nine rank s ystem" of recommendations through nepotism But with Emperors Wen and Yang of Sui in the 7 th century, and many powerful Tang emperors after them, came a conflict between the aristocracy and the throne, over the staffing of the imperial bureaucracies M ore formal tests were introduced, and educated young men from outside the uppermost class were invited to the capital to attempt them (Elman 2000, 5 8) These measures were only the first in a struggle that spanned centuries. Emperor Taizong of Tang ( r. 627 50) w atching one examination cycle's crop of graduates, is said
! 23 to have exclaimed, "The world's men of unusual ambitions have thus been trapped in my bag" (Ho 1964, 256; Miyazaki 1976, 113; Elm an 2000, 173). Empress W u Zhao (r. 684 704) reintroduced personal questioning as a final test in order to aggregate more control un der her fragile Second Zhou dynasty (690 705) Still, in the Tang dynas ty before and after her, the Kejuzhi "had come to serve as an internal selection process for the aristocracy," no different from the nine rank system before it (Tee 1988, quoted in Elman 2000, 7). The processes that put more administrative control i n the han ds of the throne took much longer than Empress Wu's t wo decade dynasty. As the late Tang (763 907) and Song (960 1279) dynasties progressed, "urban development went hand in hand with intense commercial activity" (Balazs 1966, 44). This transformation weake ned the aristocratic families' hold on power, transferring capital from their strongholds in the rural North e a st into riverine hubs of trade and culture. The Northern Song dynasty (960 1127) phased in other measures to create a more meritocratic Kejuzhi : i t introduced anony mity for testing candidates over the course of the years 992 1032, and the copying over again of tests by the imperial examiner and his staff as an additional precaution against recogniz ing candidates' handwriting over the course of 1015 1037 (Elman 2000, 14). Finally, in 1064, an element of Chinese standardized testing was introduced that has survived to this day: quotas that allow for relatively more examinees to earn degrees in less developed areas, compared to the less regulated system before that year, in which the numbers of jinshi were skewed from province to province, in favor of more developed areas (Pepper 1996, 323). All of these developments together meant that "unlike Tang aristocratic families, Song gentry families were unable to monopolize official positions
! 24 and thus could not perpetuate themselves in dynastic offices" ( Elman 2000, 15). The Jurchen takeover of all North China that ended the Northern Song also put the nail in the coffin of the medieval Chinese aristocrac y and their monopoly on civil service positions. The bulk of their land was made part of the Jin "conquest dynasty" (1115 1234) and the Southern Song (1127 1279) was forced to move its capital south to the more urbanized and cosmopolitan Yangzi River d elt a region. All subsequent "conquest dynasties" made use of the Kejuzhi as di d the Korean Goryeo dynasty of 918 to 1392. China's final conquest dynasty is what concerns us here, the Manchu ruled Qing D ynasty (1644 1912). That dynast y differed from the Liao (907 1125), Jin, and Yuan (1271 1368) conquest dynasties before it by staffing its bureaucracy with more Han Chinese risen up through the Kejuzhi than Manchus 1 It therefore placed greater faith in the institution al processes of ex amina tion than in ethnic kinship as a mechanism for strengthening dynastic rule a development also exemplified by the early Qing "nationalization" of many Schools of Confucianism that had formerly been privately run. T he form of the Kejuzhi that the Qing bureaucracy administered just before the Opium Wars devastated China's international relations, sovereignty, and sense of self in the world is detailed in the next section. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 The Liao Dynasty preferred Khitans, the Jin Dynasty preferred Jurchens from among whom the Manchu ethnicity was later created by Nurhaci (1559 1623) and Emperor Hong Taiji (r. 1627 43) and the Yuan Dynasty is known for having hired officials of many ethnicities, including the Venetian Marco Polo.
! 25 The Institutional Structure of the Kejuzhi The Kejuzhi as a state wide competition spa nned the entirety of each three year cycle in which it was held In order to be eligible to compete in this three year competition, a man was r equired to already possess his shengyuan or licentiate degree (See figures 2.1 and 2.2 for summaries of the examination structure.) Women were barred from competition for the shengyuan and from everything proceeding after it. Most of the men engaged in this qualifying process were y oung, but some attempted the so called "juvenile" examination again and again, well into old age. Even when it was too late for them to take office as an o fficial, such men sought the manual labor exemptions, protection from corporal punishment, social prestige, and power in their local economies conferred by the licentiate degree (Franke 1960, 12) The only legally recognized tutors for exam preparation, for instance, were holders of this degree. The juvenile examination s had several tests within them They consisted of three independent testing events in different places: a district examination, followed by a prefectural examination, and concluding with a qualifying examination. Each of these was not a sin gle test, but rather thirteen to sixteen days of t esting, broken up into four one d ay sessions with periods of evaluation separating them. The many questions throughout these days were purposefully redundant, so as to prevent anyone from receiving a degree by sheer luck. The juv enile examination s first two stages were administered by magistrates more or less constantly ; young men and previous failures in the juvenile brace of examinations were trying to earn their shengyuan degrees throughout the year, every year. These tests thus had permanent institutional spaces
! 26 ass ociated with them, examination halls attached to the district and prefectural yamen or government offices (Miyazaki 1976, 18 25) For the qualifying examination that actually conferred shengyuan degrees a provincial examiner assigned temporarily to each province toured that province's prefectures making a full circuit over the course of three years and hosting examinations at temporarily repurpo sed compounds in each prefectural capital he passed through. After overseeing several days of dawn til dusk testing, the examiner would remain cloistered in the compound for many more days with his staff, first recopying all answers and then evaluating them. It was during this last hurdle of the juvenile examinations that quotas came into play. Th e population of one's district, as of the last census, would help to determine the cut off point at the top of the range of scores. As with the rest of the system's te sts, there was no static marker past wh ich a candidate earned their shengyuan ; it was a t rue c ompetition, in which the skill of one's fellow test takers played a very large part (Miyazaki 1976, 26 27) H olders of a shengyuan were required every three years to do well at an "annual" examination in order to retain their sought after degrees (see t able 2.2.) Technically, an individual spent the time p eriod following success in the ju venile examinations attending a S chool of Confucianism, but these state run schools were essentially libraries with a few scholars on hand to help out the most preferred students (Franke 1960, 14) One's showing at the "annual" examination determined one's level of preference within the student population with the top fifth of test takers receiving stipends and the bottom fifth being put on a sort of probation. Ranking that low again three years later would result in their expulsion and the revocation of their shengyuan degree. A student could miss the
! 27 "annual" examination due to illness, however, and could do so twice in a row without consequence Many students resorted to this measure in or der to make their whole adolescence worth of tests more manageable, but not so many that the policy was changed (Miyazaki 1976, 34 35) Figure 2.1 Institutional Structure of the Late Qing Kejuzhi Reproduced from Wilkinson 1998, 506.
! 28 The next stage of the Kejuzhi took place again in each prefecture's capital. There, successful students who had begun in their respective districts and earned their shengyuan in prefectural capita ls returned in order to qualify yet again for the provincial, or "local," examinations (see t ables 2.1 and 2.2 ) And once again, quotas were employed to limit the number of entrants into the following provincial stage of the overall Kejuzhi Only after this stage can an examinee have been said to be testing for the civil service; everything up to and including it was preliminary. At this point, shengyuan holders entered into competition with a select group of others with that degree; only the most dedicated and well f unded could make their way out of the Schools of Confucianism and into the civil service, and there were many fewer posts available than people even of that caliber. For these more significant examinations, Beijing appointed pairs of examiners for each pro vince and dispatched them, with the governors general of each province assigning "local officials of outstanding scholarship to assist the pair from Beijing (Miyazaki 1976, 39 40). Provincial capitals housed permanent spaces devoted to examinations, just as did the relatively t iny district capitals, but the former were no buildings attached to a modest yamen These compounds were op en to the air, with many doorless cells each for a single examinee, and watchtowers for guards to observe them or at least t o convince the students they were observed (41). In these compounds, examinees sat for a series of test s resembling those that made up the original "juvenile" stage, exc ept that each set of more advanced questions could take up to two consecutive days They slept in their cell s, open to the elements, during what portion of those two days they were willing to spend on sleep, and ate food that they brought with them What top percentage of examinees from each province
! 29 earned their juren degree the same j u as in Kejuzhi and moved on to the metropolitan examination varied, of course, by the population of the province in question (Miyazaki 1976, 41 45, 50 51). Upon becoming a juren only one more obstacle remained before examinees had the chance to earn th eir jinshi degrees in Beijng. They were required to pass another examination resembling the "annual" tests. For this stage they flocked to Beijing by the tens of thousands about five months after completing the provincial examination. This test was intende d to prevent the crowds from grow ing even larger at the metropolitan examinations (64 65). Soon after the time of the provincial reexaminations every three years those tests' top candidates returned to Beijing to finally engage in "the heart of the examination system" (Miyazaki 1976, 66). Just as in the earlier tests, they returned to a grandiose and meticulously regulated examination compound every few days to spend over twenty four hours writing. For the subject matter of the questions put to them, see table 2.3. The top sixteen examinees in this empire wide examination would be matriculated up to the palace test as a formality but had essentially become jinshi and guaranteed themselves an enviable public post. Still, they were required first to wr ite their life histories and submit them to the Board of Rites, then to pass a final reexamination that took place within the palace, and then to go through the incomparably prestigious motions of the palace examination before the emperor (70 71).
! 30 F igure 2.2 Detail of the Kejuzhi 's Progression of Degrees and Subt ests Reproduced from Franke 1960, 9. A word remain s to be said about an official's life after spending his adolescence and early adulthood engaged in this competition. The rigors of this expansive institution prepared examinees not one whit for the day to day requirements of acting as a
! 31 magistrate or prefect, or assisting one in his duties. Instead, officials turned to each other and to privately published manuals in order to learn statecraft. Balazs (1965) translated an d discussed one such text from 1793, Opinions on Apprenticeship in Government by Wang Huizi, along with its sequels and appendices The institu tional matters on which Wang concentrates which Balazs takes to b e representative (53 54), focus more than anything on detective work. Wang's advice tells the reader how to get to know a district within one year of moving there; how to intimidate rural pe ople with one's position and trappings; how to interrogate suspects in the street upon encountering them, before they have a chance to prepare; and why torture is an unwise measure leading mostly to false confessions (56 57, 60) Some of these opinions may have been unique to Wang himself, intended to sway readers away from the common wisdom on these subjects, but the activity under advising is what mat ters, and Wang's other choices of subject matter should be taken as quite typical. He expounds on the diff iculties of being trapped between a corrupt prefect demanding personal favors and corrupt underlings skimming off the bottom of the district's coffers (57 62). On top of this, he complains that the chief drain on a magistrate's time is his duty to welcome and see off every man of import who enters or leaves the province. "[I]n an out of the way place," Balazs writes, an official "can devote his twelve working hours entirely to the study of his files," but a more cosmopolitan district will keep its magistrat e entertaining visitors throughout the day (55). The twelve hour workdays of a juren or jinshi then, were as full of diplomacy and investiga tion as they were of bureaucracy Indeed, Wa ng seems to view the elegant writing and perusal of documents his education prepared him for as the least pressing of his duties, ev en if he prefers these two activities
! 32 F igure 2.3 Question Topics in the Late Qin g Metropolitan and Palace Tests Reproduced from Elman 2000, 737. The Kejuzhi 's Competitors over the Longue Duree Balazs (1966 ) takes pains to explain why the Sovie t and Chinese Communist Parties' strictly Marxist understandings of history do not sufficiently characterize the imperial Chinese experience. China lacked a bourgeoisie as Balazs sees it, or at least a powerful enough one to have ever brought about the kind of social revolution Marx considered them responsible for in European civilization. One could say that China's bourgeois revolution occurred during the la te Tang dynasty, when the Kejuzhi began to supplant officials appointed by nepotism among the great aristocratic families with those appointed by what was probably the world's most sophisticated meri tocracy. T his change merely created a new set of strictur es upon the aristocracy, however, often meaning that their sons came to consider themselves more loyal to the burgeoning bureaucracy than to
! 33 their families, but not that those sons formed a middle class. One could say that a middle class was formed under t he Song and Ming dynasties, as urbanization gained momentum and trade became a more lucrative and well organized sector of the economy. The trouble with this conclusion is again that the Kejuzhi continuously turned inheritors of this wealth and status into government officials, who would have and use the wealth, but spurn the merchant status so low on the ladder of success compared to a scholar gentry. As well organized kinship groups within gen try soci ety, local lineages [. .] were able to translate social and economic strength into civil service examination success, which, in turn, correlated with their dominant control of local cultural resources. Higher order lineages, which were built aro und corporate estates that united a set of component local lineages, required classically literate and highly placed leaders who moved easily in elite circles and could mediate on behalf of the kin group with county, provincial, and national leader s ( Elma n 1991 20) The competition then, was enga ged in by clans rather than individuals, or even by local lineages alone. Because preparation to send a boy through the Kejuzhi began before his birth, he himself was only a rung on his clan's ladder of success. Furthermore, so was his arranged wife: "ha[ving] officials as relatives from collateral lines in a lineage or from affinal ties to other families [. .] could be decisive in determining the likelihood of academic success" (Elman 1991, 18). After all, a boy's first tutor was often his mother. This cause effect relationship ran the opposite way as well. Marrying up could be contingent on examination success, and the bulk of Chinese lit erature featuring young scholars for protagonists attests to how long such engagements could last. Balazs (1966 ) put the question a nd Elman (1991) answered it. China did no t have a bourgeois revolution because the Kejuzhi and marriage arrangemen ts were constantly transforming bourgeoisie into scholar gentry.
! 34 Chapter Three The Gaokao and Gongwuyuan Kaoshi Today, as in Imperial China, middle and upper class Chinese youths also spend their entire adolescence competing for their society's top jobs, and they are also tested repeatedly throughout and after that time in order to assess their fitness for public service. Since soon after Mao Zedong's death in 1976 and the second rise of Deng Xiaoping that f ollowed it, the more elite sectors of mainland China's education system have been strictly centralized and geared toward the production of excellent scientists and economists, with many of the latter entering public service. Over the decades between then and now, education and t esting for the civil service of the PRC as well as promotion within it, have consistently g rown more similar to the policies of liberal Western state s; the system has more closely fit the Weberian model. From the writing of the 1993 Provisional Regulations on State Civil Servants to the approval of the Civil Service Law in 200 5 that replaced and eclipsed earlier measures, the entirety of Chinese public
! 35 administration was in flux (Wang 2012, 3 5, 36 37). That system is still changing, of course, but at a slower pace compared to th e previous era of reorganization Before the 1993 Provisional Regulations marked the beginning of this era, other reforms paved the way for it, from the Four Moder nizations a nd Gaige k aifang as concepts, down to the particular changes that took place throughout mainland China's rural and urban educational institutions The next section will summarize these changes and place them in a global context, before moving on to the recent history of civil service developments dependent upon them. China 's Recent History of Ed ucation For and Within the Civil Service Soon after taking power in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party faced a challenge common, in its broad outline, to many p ostcolonial dev eloping societies. Pepper summarizes it as follows: The aim [of the international development community] was to maintain international standards, but the consequences were decried by critics (at home and abroad) as a form of cultural alienation, or the need to copy everything from technology to values and lifestyles. For education, both the standards and the copying were relatively easy to sustain in small colonial style systems, but they were much more difficult to perpetuate as quantitative gains took hold. A dual "two separate worlds" solution commonly evolved, with one high quality form of schooling up to international standard for elites and something less or nothing at all for everyone else. ( 2000, 513) Esp ecially i n the all important realm of kexue jishu or science and technology, participating sufficiently in global developments in order to educate children in an up to date manner meant expending the resources of a European economy, which could only be
! 36 do ne for a select few Chinese students. The more basic problem of reaching a literacy rate of 90% or higher, combined with this challenge, formed a double bind. The solution, expressed at the beginning of the Great Leap Forward in 1958, was to develop a syst em referred to by Mao as "walking on two legs." Liu Shaoqi became the figureh ead of this new model, in which locally financed minban elementary schools and spare time schools were intended to spread an education foundation at little or no cost to the state "H alf work, half study" agricultural middle schools also performed this task, and in addition, curbed rural urban migration Schools intended not to popularize education itself but to "round out the political and academic training of regular students" were "part work, part study," rather than "half work, half study" (289): [. .] in state run secondary, elementary, and teacher training schools, physical labor is necessary but it must be appropriate and properly arranged; in general do not attempt half work, half study, and do not seek economic self sufficiency. (Fourth National Education Administration Co nference quoted in Pepper 2000, 289 90) These average schools, then, put up a pretense of a work/study system, but even the stricter, less elite, "ha lf work, half study" schools prove d a pretense in the end (308 318). Within the overa ll school system, and above average state run schools in terms of preferential funding, sat "an island of quality" in the form of the key poi nt schools (Pepper 2000, 290, 31 8 19). In 1963 China had 487 full time regular secondary key point schools, 3.1% of all such secondary schools (320). Some of these were highly effective before the revolution, others received ramped up funding and supervision after it. In either case, despite schools of all levels being designated as key point, secondary schools quickly emerged as the crux of the key point system due to the system's and those schools' shared focus on attaining coll ege admission for its students, which means and
! 37 has mean t success on the National College Entrance Examination since before it was nicknamed Gaokao The most elite success, however, has meant placing students not merely in college, and not merely in a top co llege, but in one of the Party s chools essentially schools of Marxism Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought administered from th e Beijing Central Party School from 1955 66 and from 1 977 to today. During the gap between these two eras the Party School system is officially considered to have "stop ped functioning" due unofficially to the chaos brought about when the apparently unending c ultural revolution magnified into the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in 1966 (Shambaugh 2008, 829) Colleges and other tertiary schools across the country wer e officially closed, the NCEE was eliminated, students were offered free train travel with which to roam the countryside destroying cultural artifacts and holding show trials for what few "landlords" remained in China, resources and faculty were transferre d away from key point schools, and the Party's internecine conflicts grew to envelop the whole of the nation (Rosen 1985, 307). Liu Shaoqi, for instance, went from putative father of the "walking on two legs" system and Mao's heir apparent, to disgraced sc apegoat. The exact end of this Cultural Revolution, sometimes considered the second with the Great Leap Forward framed as the first, is difficult to pinpoint. Hua Guofeng, and not the accused traitor Liu Shaoqi, succeeded Mao as Party chairman, and despit e the desires of China's citizens to put the campaigns, purges, and chaos of the cultural revolution(s) behind them, he maintained a desire to place popularization of education over and above the raising of standards. Eventually, however, Dengism and not M aoism became the
! 38 order of the day. In 1983, the same year that the Central Party School and its subsidiaries were reopened, Deng pressed for the [re]introduction of strict examinations and the conc entration of the nation's best students in a relatively small number of outstanding secondary schools and universities, thus reviving the keypoint concept. (Rosen 1985, 308) In fact, the extension of the key point concept to universities, and the further concentration of resources into "20 primary and secondar y schools chosen from around the country to be national keypoints' run directly by the Ministry of Education" went much further than Mao and Liu Shaoqi ever had (Rosen 1985, 309). By 1983, China's 97 key point universities enrolled 45% and 60% of student s in science and engineering, respectively, and graduat[ed] 56% and 70%, respectively of all scientists and engineers" (World Bank 1983, 162, quoted in Rosen 1985, 310). That same year, Hu Yaobang had just taken over from Hua Guofeng both as Party Chairma n and Central Party School president and the Central Committee adopted the "Decision on Regularizing the Central Party School Curriculum." Fourteen years later, following the 15 th Party Congress in 1997 the Central Committee adopted the "Decision on acce lerating the reformation of Party School work towards the 21 st century" (Shambaugh 2008, 830). Since that time the CPS has substantially expanded its curriculum beyond ideological indoctrination (although this remains a core function) to a considerably wid er field of instruction. It has trained increasingly large numbers of Party and state cadres, military offices, intellectuals, and even businessmen (after 2001). ( 830). The enormity of this change cannot be understated. While Mao was alive, one of the central functions of the Party schools was to train cadres in the practice of identifying
! 39 sec ret businessmen for reeducation and in pub lic ly shaming those who unabashedly enriched themselves. In some respects, the 1993 Provisional Regulations and the C ivil Service Law of 2005 mirrored these two Central Party School measures. Ten years after the Central Committee experimented with educating its leaders in systems other than Mao Zedong Thought, it dipped its toe in the waters of orthodox Weberian bureaucr acy. Eight years after it hastened the pace of Westernization in its most elite educational institutions, it embarked on a path toward the New Public Management model, which emulates not only European governments, but also European corporations in its orga nizat ional structure. Between t hese turnabouts, enough time had passed for provisional experiments to become the norm, for a new generation of civil servants to step into the positions of those who initiated the experiments, and for each successive crop of officials to become inured to the greater wealth and control provided by successively less socialist approaches. The Path to and Through the Civil Service in Mainland China Today There exists a single path to political power in China, regardless of what type of political power a family desires for their child. no distinction is made between politicians and civil servants in China. State leaders such as the President and cabinet members such as the Premier and Vice Premiers, who normally would be considered as politicians in political systems with competing politic al parties and elections, also come under the civil service in China. (Wang 2012, 32)
! 40 A lack of elections further implies that this single path, through the civil service, is the only path that enables any kind of real political participation. That path begins in primary key point schools, preferably those deemed "national key point" for even greater prestige and funding, and leads first to Youth League membership, and then to enrollment in key point or national key point high schools. As was the case bef ore the Cultural Revolution, admissions tests play a role at each stage of this process, as do bribes and nepotism. Princelings, naturally, can expect guarantees of admission to any instituti on into which their parents usher them Low and high status sec ondary schools alike have one primary goal in China success on the Gaokao with hig h status ones matriculating more students through that gate into tertiary schooling, and low status ones sending more students directly into the labor force. China's lowest class, that of the migrant laborer, is composed of many individuals who did not complete their compulsory educations, and whose children are systematically refused proper schooling b ecause they do not live where they are registered, where state funds have been set aside for their educations. NGOs and other charitable organization s do attempt to provide as many migrant laborers' children as possible with an education, but even the ones lucky enough to receive this boon often find it unrecognized by the strict, centralized PRC education system, when they attempt to matriculate. Between these two status poles, the PRC has two hierarchic al levels of education, each with lifelong repercuss ions for families entering their children into them. The National School of Administration in Beijing oversees more than 2,000 post secondary administration schools that train "senior and middle ranking officials from the State
! 41 Council, provincial and muni cipal governments [. in] economics and applied skills. Education there does not necessarily exclude one from the uppermost civil service, although this system is not as prestigious as that of the Party schools. A degree from one of the still less pres tigious post secondary "colleges of socialism," maintained by the CCP United Front Work Department to train "ethnic minorities and other classes targeted for united front' work" does keep a student under a glass ceiling in their future (Shambaugh 2008, 82 8). They are limited to local leadership, and prevented from representing the Party and the government to too large a group of Chinese citizens. Graduating from any of these post secondary institutions, one applies for civil service employment and, if prov isionally hired, takes the Gongwuyuan Kaoshi For a time, the PRC civil service required two years' work experience, but waived this rule as part of its reforms, thereby enhancing the importance of the Gongwuyuan Kaoshi relative to other qualification s (Burns 1995, 61 ). Just as myriad other less centralized tests exist throughout the primary a nd secondary education systems, localities and departments have their own tests to which they subject applicants including those applying from within the civil ser vice In 2004 within the Ministry of Personnel, for instance, in order to fill four bureau chief and deputy chief vacancies, 60 Ministry employees took a series of examinations that included an English language test, and the 31 satisfactory examinees [. .] were bussed to a township within Beijing Municipality and taken through an exhibit that detailed the development of the township by a local leader. They were then taken to an examination hall in the township and given an examination paper that required them to write answers to two questions analysing the development of the township. The paper was designed to test their analytical powers and writing skills. (Burns 1995, 62) The 12 candidates passing this portion of the brace of tests then undertook an or al examination before the Minister and several Vice Ministers.
! 42 All of these tra ining paths and examination stru ctures may seem to represent education and civil service advancement in the PRC as an ironclad system, but corruption is a famous problem in it. Former National People's Congress Vice Chairman Cheng Kaijie was executed for selling government posts i n 2000, and in 2002 an approximated 38% of civil service hires entered via "non competitive means" ( Interview cited in Burns 1995, 64). Of course, s tat istics on China and on corruption the world over are notoriously inaccurate. The Content of Standardized Tests Tow ard the PRC Civil Service There are a great number of provincially and prefecturally fine tuned versions of the Gaokao each year, but only one Gongwuyuan Kaoshi As a whole, the questions I have translated from these tests indicate that conformity to the PRC's state ideology is tested for in the Gaokao whereas human intelligence along the lines of that tested for in the US' s LSAT and other Western tests is the primary focus of the Gongwuyuan Kaoshi No questions that select for intelligence alone are excerpted below. One exception is the economics Gaokao subject test, which very closely resembles an economics GRE subject test, though at a lower level of proficiency overall compared to that postgraduate examination. Presumably, though I have translated no questions from them Gaokao natural science and mathematics subject tests are also l ess ideological than the Gaokao 's co mponents that specialize in politics and culture.
! 43 The first question below is from the politics subject test Shanghai high schoolers took in 2011, and the second was given to all high school students in Shandong in 2012. Their content provides some insigh t into the priorities of the current PRC in choosing who will make up its next generation of officials and what talents they will have. In order to bolster the service government, we will want to strengthen government public service functio ns. Personally embodying this means A. Adjusting dep osit and loan interest rates B. Fairly allocating compulsory education resources C. Perfecting the civil service system D. Launching a "Chang'e II" lunar explorer This rudimentary question simply tests whether students entering college to study politics, or a related field, have some basic idea of what it would mean to be a civil servant. Compared to some recent questions from the politi cs Gaokao this question is not very ideological, but it still demands that the examinee show their optimism with regard to the civil service by imagining that it can be "perfected," rather than that it urgently needs improvement. This next question calls for an essay and thus more clos ely resembles the Kejuzhi 's questions than any of these others. Handwritin g, however, does not reflec t on one's evalua t ion t o t he ex t en t t ha t i t did under t he empire; examinees need no t use ink and brush t o wri t e t heir essays.
! 44 Development in foreign trade will create closer links between China and the rest of the world, vigorously promoting China's modernization. Read this material and answer the question. 2012 ; Material In 2012 the nation adopted a series of economic measures to guarantee the stable development of foreign trade: promote cultivation of companies' individual brands; expand high level technology exports while controlling energy intensive, high polluting exports; improve imp ort policies, setting up platfor ms for the promotion of imports, etc. At the same time, the nat ion is going one step further in the building of a fair and transparent market environment, reducing the government's microeconomic interference, perfecting regula t ory mechanisms, and raising the level of government service. According to the material, use your knowledge of political life to analyze how to raise the level of government service for guaranteeing stable development in the realm of foreign trade. This question is characteristic in that the examinee's visio n of what it means to serve their fellow citizens is intended to essentially be, "take the recent drastic changes in the government and run with them." The question has the same format as one with a problem and an essay for the examinee to write solving th at problem. The "material" is not a problem that needs solving, howeve r, but a list of reasons why one should be thankful to be a Chinese citizen born at this time. The following three questions are from the 2009 Gongwuyuan Kaoshi All three convey major piorities of the current PRC: natural resource extraction, global image, and the framing of human rights issues to the Chinese people, respectively. The first of them needs no interpretation.
! 45 ( ) An area where geothermal, solar, and water resources a re all equally plentiful is ( ) A. B. T he Qinghai & Tibetan Plateaus Hainan Island C. D. The Tarim Basin in Xinjiang Sichuan Basin 29 2008 8 8 20 At the time of the opening of the curtain at the 29 th Olympic Games in Beijing on Aug. 8 th 2008 at 10:00 pm, ( ) of the world's nations and Beijing were experiencing the same calendar day. A. All B. C. More than half D. Less than half The correct answer to the second question above, surprisingly, is "all." The PRC purposefully selected the time of its Olympic opening ceremonies such that even the furthest time zone would already have begun the same calendar day, and no time zone w ould yet have entered August 9 th That gesture is truly ideological; this question simply demands that the would be public servant either have the math skills and geographic knowledge to determine that fact, the insight to guess that their government would have done that, or the connectedness to know that it did so. Our national leaders have indicated many times that the Tibetan affair is a matter entirely internal to China. The essen ce of the "Tibetan Issue" is ( ). A. B. An ethnic issue A human rights issue C. D. A religious issue A sovereignty issue This question is twofold in its demands. The aspiring civil servant must have a basic familiarity with the terminology of international affairs, in that they must understand the terms "sovereignty" and "human rights" well enough to know that the PRC's detr actors
! 46 accuse it of contravening both of these principles in its treatment of Tibet. Furthermore, they must be familiar enough with their government's official response to such accusations that they know to answer "an ethnic issue." 2 Competition for the PRC Civil Service Today S everal factors are at play in how youths compete for civil service employment in China today and how their families make this ambition possible for them. The most significant factor unmentioned thus far is the national context of China's changing economy. Just as competitors in the Kejuzhi must be considered in light of their families, clans, economic environment, and the historic al trajectory of China as a whole, so must competitors in the Gaokao and Gongwuyuan Kaoshi be placed in context. Clans are now a thing of the past in China, but today one's immediate parents have everything to do with whether one has a chance at government participation via the civil service. Unsurprisingly, whether it was those parents who fir st moved from the countryside to a major city, or their parents before them, plays a major role. The longer your family has dwelt in urban coastal China, the more money you stand to make (See Figure 3.1.) Money c an, of course, be translated int o the opport unity for education. In addition, i ndividuals raised in the cities, especially those in China's largest provincial economy of Guangdong, or in the nation's two largest cities by population Shanghai and Beijing stand a much better chance of getting thei r children into key point middle schools, into !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! T he term I translate as "issue" here is also the most common word used to mean both "problem" and "question," depending on its context and the measure word that precedes it.
! 47 the Youth League, and thus eventually into a Party school. They stand this chance not only because of income, but due to the greater familiarity with CCP propaganda they are provided by urban media saturation, as well as the possibility of making direct interpersonal connections with those in charge of key point and Party schools. Figure 3.1. Urban vs. Rural Income Gap in China, 1978 2008 Reproduced from Lu and Gao 2009, 3. Another development has been brought about by China's chan ging educational infrastructure and reinforces the continuation of those changes i n turn: knowledge workers are coming to outnumber factory workers China is still thought of as an industrializing society, but c ompare the nation's recent trends in each of the primary, secondary, and tertiary economic sec tors, respectively. (See figure 3.2 The vertical axis represents increments of 10,000 employ ed persons per single digit, or 50 mill ion employed persons per horizontal line The light gray line is primary industry employment, the dark gray line secondary, and the darkest line tertiary. )
! 48 Figure 3.2. Comparative Employment by Sector in the PRC, 1952 2011 Reproduced from China Data Center 2013. T he size of the tertiary, or service, sector of the economy has recently surpassed that of the primary sec t or mainly agricul t ure and mining, and i t surpassed t ha t of t he secondary or manufac t uring sec t or in 1994 As of 2011, the service sec t or s popula t ion sits at over 250 million jobs and the manufa t uring sec t or between 200 million and 250 million. The agricul t ure and mining sector is also still above 25 0 million, but has been shrinking a s fast as the service sector has been growing The impact of these ch anges on competition for civil service employment is not so direct as that of rapid urbanization, but together the two signify a histor ical devel opment: bourgeois revolution. In standard Marxism the coastal or riverine city is the incubator of bourgeois power, and a genuinely bureaucratic or Weberian government is the system by which to maintain that power once it has been obtained. These theories were well known to formative leaders of the Guomindang and CCP alike. Chapter four investigates the
! 49 theor ies use by the early CCP and its Comintern allies, and revises them in light of the actual outcomes in China of their application by these parties. E ssentially, the Chinese Civil War between these groups, from the perspective of the CCP, should be thought of as an all or nothing effort to stop the international spread of bourgeois power from taking hold in China. The CCP thought of hi story itself as working in i ts favor, but knew also that ultimate defeat would mean a damning referendum on the Marxist visi on of history within China. They did win, but their Marxist devotion inherently meant that they could not compete with bourgeois nations economically or scientifically, and thus that the bourgeois prescription for success would continue to appeal to those Chinese policymakers willing to consider alternatives to Marxism Leninism. T he Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution can rightly be thought of as a last ditch effort to forestall China's long overdue bourgeois revolution, and its failure were success in it ever even possible along with Mao's death represent s a puttering out of resistance to this historial eventuality. CCP educational and econ omic policies from Deng onward have consciously modelled themselve s on successful Western economies (Rosen 1985, 308; 20 04, 37). In so doing, the Party has brought about rule by the most expensively educate d, just as is the case in the West This state of affairs also obtained in Imperial China, but its educational insti tutions prevented the formation of an independent bourgeois class. By comparison, China's highly indoctrinatory education system of today fails to reinvent its participants, allowing them to maintain the ir nouveau riche identity, which was so spurned under the Song, Ming, and Qing dynasties.
! 50 Chapter Four Conclusion: The Two Cases in Comparison Late 20 th century China has nearly the same borders as early 19 th century, but unlike that state, it is a nation on the rise. Its economy, military, and n ational culture are making ever greater impressions on the world, whereas ; at the time of the Opium Wars and the Scramble for China its star was seen as falling by the six nations that carved it up, as well as by many Chinese themselves onc e the carving had taken place. In a nation as prosperous as China is today the Gaokao 's and Gongwuyuan Kaoshi 's strict gatekeeping measures serve something of the same purpose that the Kejuzhi did when China was urbanizing and growing in wealth under the Song, Ming, and early Qing dynasties. These tests filter the elite, selecting those amon g them who exhibit features like i deological compliance and linguistic eloquence both exemplified by the translated questions in chapter 3. Of course, China's tests t oday also place a great focus upon macroenomic acumen. This focus is much greater than that which was present under Mao, let alone in
! 51 the Late Empire when one's knowledge of the 2000 year old classics was of utmost priority. If the structure and content o f each of these tests can tell us something about the priorities of the societies employing them, as well as about the challenges those societies face then one of imperial China's greatest challenges was trapping young men of unusual ambitions in the emperor's bag,' to paraphra s e Emperor Taizong of Tang. Specifically, the monolithic examination system that spanned the entire adolescence of those compe ting in it and commanded the hopes of youths and their families throughout the Empire, served to mold t hose undertaking it into scholar officials. What other identities might have threatened imperial hegemony is difficult to say, but history has shown that the identity of a landowning, urban dwelling, stationary merchant that of the bourgeoisie posses s e s great potential for drastically altering political systems. The Gaokao and Gongwuyuan Kaoshi necessarily also mold examinees, or at the very least act as a final check on the molding conducted by the PRC s compulsory education system By ensuring that o nly the molded go on to exert great social influence these tests also exclude potentially threat en ing identities perhaps that of the genuine Marxist ideologue before that of the young capitalist. Indeed, aspiring bourgeois knowledge wor kers and capitali sts are precisely what the Pa rty hopes will emerge from its schools and help China compete with developed nations. Befo re going into greater detail about these contemporary tests' roles wi thin Chinese class competition over as a longue a duree as possible, if not as longue as that of the Kejuzhi other authors' impressions of the comparability of these two systems must be taken under consideration.
! 52 The Literature Comparing the Kejuzhi and Gaokao Only a few authors have sought, in the English language, to compare the two testing regimes summarized here. Pepper (1996) does not set out to do this, but she does note some telling similarities as part of her study into the question of why the PRC s earl y efforts to cope with the common postcolonial educational policy dilemma met with such approval by the international development community, before being abandoned as misguided by Chinese leaders themselves. As she puts it, Passing the college entrance ex aminations, unified nationally in the 1950s, had already [before the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution] become the chief aim of secondary schooling. [. .] In fact, the 1958 cultural revolution combined with China's modernization goals and its inherit ed traditions to reproduce more intensely than at any time since 1905 the ancient Chinese view of education as the means and examination success as the chief end. (303) Pepper points out the irony of this fact, that even as Chinese leaders sought to sever nearly all links to ideologies of the past, they "unwittingly promoted" an "anachronistic revival" (303). She even goes so far as to assert that "[p]robably it was only" when "Mao and his cultural revolution allies had to begin thinking in concrete terms about the problem of educational parity, or equality,' [. .] that Mao d ecided to distance himself from the [Great Proletarian] Cultural Revolution" (303). Without attempting to f ind a root cause for this turnabout, among the many that Mao executed, it is possible to defend the idea of an even stronger anachronism here. In 1905 and for decades before that year, examinations were repeatedly being reformed and then restored to their traditional form. Their h egemony was bein g assaulted by European culture, at least in the treaty ports, where alternate systems of social advancement were
! 53 taking root. The authority of the Qing government over the Kejuzhi was also eroded in the 19 th century, both by its abject def eat in the Opium Wars and by the Taiping rebels' creation and adminis t ra t ion of their own examination s in the large swathes of China they controlled for 14 years. Altogether, these events had sev erely weakened the Kejuzhi 's grip on ideolog y and education i n China by the time these and other factors culminated in the 1905 abolition of the testing regime. Mao and his "cultural revolution allies," therefore, helped to bring about an even more anachronistic era than they or Pepper realized (1996, 303) In many more senses than that of sovereignty alone, they wanted the pre Opium War China back. They wanted to initiate a period of prosperity and military might. They wanted a unified state ideology again, unmuddled by Western ideas except for Marxism Leninism o f course. Apart from the brief examination interregnum that occurred during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution itself, Mao's day bore one additional similarity t o the early and middle Qing: the few young people that found themselves born into a weal thy family were scrambling to cast off that identity; to take the same test all people took, but which in practice strongly favored the wealthy; to drape over their material advantages in life a veil of ideological, and specifically anti material, superior ity. Pepper (1996) does bring out an aspect of this greater anachronism in her discussion of the Kejuzhi 's and Gaokao 's respective quota systems. The first provincial quo t a s were introduced in the 11 th century to ensure that the newly urbanizing Yangzi De lta region did not place more officials in the government than "the old northern heartland," which was being emptied out by frequent wars with the Khitans and Jurchens. In 1958, "key point enrollment was systematized as the old imperial formulas were
! 54 adapt ed for use nationwide," and quotas were employed to serve this very same purpose: ensuring some degree of regional parity whe n it came to representation in the civil service (322 23). Three other authors have embarked on the sort of comparison Pepper is making, and they did so in shorter works devoted specifically to that purpose. Suen and Yu (2005; 2006) take pains to point out the unnecessary stressors that were placed on the examinee in premodern China, and those that ambitious youths are subjected to today. Their point is essentially that the stressors are the same a burden borne by unsuccessful examinees, which the state should bear itself. Feng ( 1995 ) offers a comparison of the K eju and Gaokao systems that takes "political centralism" as a signific ant continuity across p re and post modern China. By this term, Feng means a lack of federalist autonomy on the part of provinces and prefectures, when i t comes to education as well as an inurement, on the part of the Chinese people, to the ideas of state planning and strict organizational hierarchy Mao, Liu Shaoqi, and others saw fit, for a time, to invite China's local governments to practice this autonomy, and ended that period with an unwieldy and ineffective education system on their hands. Deng and his supporters then overturned this system, after and in part because of the chaos of the Great P roletarian Cultural Revolution. E ducation and elite recruitment drastically changed, along with nearly everything else to do with how China was being and woul d be run. In the realm of economics, they gradually extended more and more autonomy to Special Economic Zones, and then gradually began to spread the most successful of these zones' policies to other parts of the country. Conversely, as Feng (1995) discusses, in the realm of the civil
! 55 service and education they increased the level of political centralism, reducing provincial autonomy in order to reform various ministries directly and acutely. In the wake of these reforms, a course has been set in which China's universities and bureaus once again receive more autonomy over time, but the justification for this is not Marxi st. These policies come from just the opposite body of thought, in fact, as Western governments and China alike practi ce a mimicry of the private sector in their public service organizations, which in public administration theory is called the "New Public Management." Feng's conclusions were apropos in 1995 when the Provisional Regulations on State Civil Servants had only just come into effect. These measures followed a decade of centralization under Deng, but over the course of the ensuing decade, used that centralization to bring about a new federalism and autonomy for public bureaus. Feng's more general thesis tha t the Chinese populace recreated and approves of this level of political centralism because of their ancestors' millennium of experience with similar institutions may be just as valid now as in 1995, but is a hotly debated cultural assertion in fields ot her than educational history and political science. For purposes of this study, Feng's assertion lacks a material underpinning; if political centralism has reemerged not as a solution to problems of power and resources, but because of culture alone, are th e elite groups being tapped for recruitment, and being created by recruitment, identical to those of premodern China? Clearly not, and yet these groups do the creating and recreating of PRC policies. The in depth consideration of them as groups that this s tudy has conducted, therefore, is necessary to identify salient differences between the two systems.
! 56 Original Comparison of the Kejuzhi and Gaoakao The public policy shifts that occurred in China throughout the cultural revolut ions, as Pepper analyzed collectively make the PRC a very difficult state to characterize. Central to any consideration of these testing regimes is the question of whether the strong ideological bent all of them share succeeded universally in molding examinees anew. Before China 's downfall began in the Opium Wars, successful examinees came to adopt the identity of a state official as their primary one, and to assist their distant clan relatives in causing the very same change in their sons. Under Mao, Long March survivors made up much of the higher echelons of government, and committed revolutionaries worked their way in from the bottom. Many of these officials were certainly born into relative wealth and opportunity, but all of China's culture over and above the test s themselve s taught one to try and be anything other than a capitalist. Under and after Deng, merchants no longer wished to cast off their wealthy identity, no longer had it replaced by a totally communi tarian and egalitarian ideology but instead came to see themse lves both as members of immediate families proud of their commercial power and as members of the government proud of their state power. This change is impossible to prove quantifiably, but Rosen (2004) and Tomba (2004) have made strides in that direction. An important component of the Chinese government's strategy to modernize China," Rosen writes, "entails enhancing the social and political status of a new moneyed urban middle class, particularly white collar professionals and private entrepreneurs" ( 200 4, 27). During the continuous cultural revolutions of the early People's Republic, landlords and others who consumed
! 57 conspicuously were public ly shamed in show trials. This facet of mainland China's culture has since come full circle. Consider the stark co ntrast of the following media event in 21 st century China: [T]he treatment of the rich in the Chinese media has become a contentious issue. In early 2003, after three leading private entrepreneurs were murdered within three weeks of each other and the medi a began to speculate on "revenge against the rich" and "politics among the rich" as motives, as well as whether government should provide "special protection" to the newly rich, the internal journal of the Central Committee's Propaganda Department, acknowl edging the glaring inequalities still existing in China, suggested that such reporting was damaging to social stability. The media were urged instead to offer positive accounts, for example cases of how the newly rich were aiding the poor to become rich th emselves. (Rosen 2004, 32) B oth in the show trials of the the mid 20 th century and in these events, the hand of the government can be seen at work pushing public opinion one way or another. Immediately following the CCP 's proclamation of an end to the Century of Humiliation, its hand wr ung out of society what remained of the nation's landowners and successful merchants. Half a century later, with China's economy evincing an indisputable end to national humiliation, the h and of the CCP shields landowners and successful merchants from public scrutiny. Mao and the first generation of CC P lead ers faced a challenge somewhat analogous to that of Ming and Qing rulers : prevent the Guomindang identity from maintaining any sway on the mainland, and root out any up and comers who might threaten the hegemony of Marxism Leninism Maoism. Purges and reeducation facilities did a great deal of rooting out, but so did schools, as they convinced many young people to identi fy more strongly w ith the P arty than with the ir class, level of education, region of birth or even immediate family Deng and his successors have faced a challenge more
! 58 similar to that of contemporary developed nations: find and elevate the people of tal ent in Chinese soci ety so that they might compete, on its behalf, with those of other societies. Consequently, Chinese examinations' ideological components have waned over the years, replacing a test of faithfulness to Marxism Leninism Maoism with a test of loyalty to the Party. Demonstrating that loyalty consists of averring ideological faith, even w hile displaying confidence in the Party's ability to distinguish in what situations it should contradict its own ideology. In this sense, Chinese examinations have come less and less to resemble their premodern forebears, which focused almost solely upon a totalizing ideology in both content and form. In other senses, though, they have come to resemble their forebears even more. For a time, the PRC civil service required two years' work experience, but it waived this rule as part of its reforms, thereby en hancing the importance of the Gongwuyuan Kaoshi relative to other qualifications (Burns 1995, 66). Young men and women who test well out of graduate school can enter the civil service directly due to this reform measure, even if they cannot enter the upper civil service directly via exceptional scores, as t heir ancestors could. The most significant similarity between the post Reform Chinese civil service and that of the Late Empire, however, is the base from which each or ganization draws the bulk of its pot ential membership: coastal families growing in wealth and attempting to parlay that wealth into state power. This same base is also the great est difference between the two civil servi ce recruitment systems. A lt hough marriage arrangements still favor famili es with a child in the civil service absent a clan structure surrounding the institution of marriage, of course and al though wealth is still the single greatest factor differentiating successful
! 59 examinees from failures, the present day civil service do es not transform those examined for entry into it, compared to the transformations engendered by scholar gentry education in imperial China, and by primary and secondary education in Maoist China. Successful officials therefore remain among the base from w hich they were recruited, living in well to do coastal urban areas, rather than moving to a clan estate at which they continue to produce examinees but are largely cut off from would be officials without government connections. Weber (  2009) holds th at two of the most important r oles a civil service fulfills are first, to draw in knowledg e able workers through both status and income incentives, and then to professionalize them, creating accountability and solidarity within the organization. China' s civil service of today accomplishes the first of these tasks very differently from its premodern institutions, but still certainly draws people in. Afterward, it professionalizes them roughly in the familiar, Weberian sense of the term rather than makin g of them an entire class with a sense of responsibility over all Chinese record keeping and history. If professionalizing a nation's talent also serves to trap them in a bag,' then the question arises as to what else the se people might be doing, and what other identities they might form, were they not professionalized or in imperial Chinese terms, matriculated into the scholar gentry class. Weber is no historian of revolution, and so we must turn to other theo r ists in order to answer this qu estion. Balazs (1966) tackles this very question in his lecture "The Birth of Capitalism in China." Seeking an answer to the aforementioned question of when a bourgeoisie arose in China with an identity independent of the state, he a rgues tha t the orthodox Marxist position on the development of Chinese capitalism was settled together by Stalinis ts in the Soviet Union and China in
! 60 order to save face ( Balazs 1966, 36 38). After Stalin's faction within Russia lent its support to the Guomindang and Trotsky vehemently opposed it, that decidedly bourgeois party attempted to rout the young CCP at that time their public allies. For our purposes it will be sufficient to recall the days of April 1927, when Generaliss imo Chiang Kai S he k slaughtered the flower of the Chinese communists. This in no way prevented the Stalinist fraction [ sic ] which soon became omnipotent, from propping up their tactical blunder by theoretical reflections. [According to Marx's and Engels' stages of econ o mic development], th e proletarian revolution could only occur subsequent to the rule of the bourgeoisie It followed logically that if support had been given to the bourgeois Kuomintang, it was only because the inexorable calendar of History had indicated that this was the se ason of the revolution of the bourgeois or capitalist class, which in turn meant and here of all these twists and turns, is the crux of the matter that China as it was then was not at the capitalist stage but at the feudal stage and, furthermore, that all foregoing periods cannot have been anything but feudal. (Balazs 1966, 37 38) Officially, then, there was no bou r geoisie in China until the 20 th century. They came into existence, revolted, and were revolted against in turn, all in the blink of a histor ic eye though they rule to this day in Taiwan. Arguably, this account is accurate, but to say that the bourgeoisie succeeded in coalescing and then taking power all at once is an exaggeration. There had always been merchants in China, they had just been looked down upon more than they were at the beginning and end of the 20 th century. Balazs' s search for the roots of Chinese capitalism takes him back to the Tang and Song eras, though he cautions listeners never [to] forget the essential difference betwee n Chinese and Western towns. [. W]hile the Western town was the seed bed and later the bulwark of the bourgeoisie the Chinese town was primarily the seat of government the residence of officials who were permanently hostile to the bourgeoisie and th us always under the domination of the state. (1966, 44) The comparison of the entrance systems for the civil services executed in this study suggests that, by focusing upon geographic differences such as urban spaces, Balazs is
! 61 mistaking the crucial factor in the stillbirth of the Chinese bourgeoisie A lt hough Chinese urban spaces have come much more to resemble Western ones, and thus to incuba te and bolster the bourgeoisie as Balazs implies, the greater difference today lies in the collective identity of t he officials to wh om he refers. Before the Century of Humiliation, government officials did exhibit a "permanent" hostility to the bourgeois ie but crucially, however many generations intervened between their families initial enrichment and their earning of a shengyuan degree they had been recruited out of that class. It was that degree that separated them from it, and the high social status of that degree that sustained the low social status, despite their material power, of merchant families that did not have one. After the Century of Humiliation, this state of affairs was greatly augmented by Marxism Leninism's hostility toward the wealthy Eventually, however, stability returned to China, along with its longstanding trends with regard to urbanization, and out of this came a velvet bourgeois revolution known in China as Gaige k aifang or Reform and Opening China is more strictly a meritocr acy than ever it clamed to be in the past, but this merit is acquired through wealth, just as the classicist's merit of premodern C hina was. In retrospect, through the lens of this comparison, it even looks as though education and testing with foci not on mathematics and economics, but on the ideological orthodoxy of the day were what forestalled China's bourgeois revolution until the late 20 th century.
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