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China's HegemonyFour Hundred Years of East Asian Domination$
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Ji-Young Lee

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231179744

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231179744.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 30 November 2021

Understanding the Tribute System

Understanding the Tribute System

(p.27) 1 Understanding the Tribute System
China's Hegemony

Ji-Young Lee

Columbia University Press

This chapter offers a comprehensive review of the tribute system, which shows that the existing literature has largely ignored the role played by less powerful East Asian states. It is in this chapter that I suggest a new, more nuanced interpretation of the tribute system through the lens of “practices” rather than the “system.” The chapter then discusses in some details the concept of authority in the specific early modern East Asian context, while drawing on the writings of Chinese and Korean tributary envoys. The chapter also addresses questions of research design and explains the selection of case studies.

Keywords:   tribute system, authority, diplomatic practices, symbolic domination, Chinese hegemony

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