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Full referenceFox, Josephine, "Common Sense in Shanghai: The Shanghai General Chamber of Commerce and Political Legitimacy in Republican China" (2000)
TypeJournal article
Author(s)Fox, Josephine
Title"Common Sense in Shanghai: The Shanghai General Chamber of Commerce and Political Legitimacy in Republican China"
Year2000
JournalHistory Workshop Journal
Number50
Start page22
End page44
LanguageEnglish
SubjectHistory
Keywordssocial; political
AbstractFox explores the political thinking of Chinese businessmen in Shanghai in the treaty-port era (1910s-20s) through the public career of their most powerful independent representative association, the Shanghai General Chamber of Commerce. It looks into their understanding of the relationship between Chinese and foreign capital, and at how this affected the Chamber's ordering of political priorities in its capacity as representative of Chinese business interests. It traces the necessity of `networking' in business-government relationships to historically-specific, rather than culturally-endemic, causes. It discusses the concept of political legitimacy in and outside China, and argues that the situation of 1920s Shanghai, characterized by weakness of state function and overlapping sovereignties within which individuals and short-lived organizations exercised power informally and through a generalized fear of foreign domination, made legitimacy practically impossible for the Shanghai General Chamber of Commerce to contrive or afford.
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