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Dr. Keliher publishes field changing article in discipline’s most prestigious journal

Macabe Keliher recently published an article in the American Historical Review (AHA). AHA is the the most prestigious journal in the historical field renown its for cutting edge research. His article, "The Problem of Imperial Relatives in Early Modern Empires and the Making of Qing China,"(The American Historical Review, Volume 122, Issue 4, 1 October 2017, Pages 1001–1037) provides ground-breaking research into the role of familial relations in Qin China's leadership. Find the article on the American Historical Review's website.

Keliher, Assistant Professor of History, researches early modern and modern China, focusing on political culture and law, with a particular focus on state formation. He has been funded in research by grants from (but not limited to) Fulbright Institute of International Education, American Mandarin Society, and National Endowment for the Humanities. Spring 2018 he will be teaching History 106 (East Asia: An Introduction) and History 435 (History of Chinese Thought). 

Article Abstract:

"Throughout early modern Eurasia, rulers grappled with the problem of their relatives. Although their kin could offer support and investiture in the prosperity of the dynasty, rulers were also threatened by them with internal rivalry and challenges for the throne. This article argues that focusing on how a ruler dealt with the fundamental problem of imperial relatives can illuminate the institutional arrangements of imperial power while still accounting for variation across space. The article takes up the case of the Manchus and the formation of their Qing dynasty in seventeenth-century China, and shows how political and cultural circumstances shaped institutional outcomes. The story begins with the Manchu ruler in a predicament of needing to rely on his relatives for political and military support, but at the same time being threatened and constrained by them. In order to solicit their cooperation he gave them administrative positions, but then imposed legal and ritualistic restraints to integrate them into the professional bureaucracy. The end result was that the Manchu relatives were neutralized as a threat and turned into a service elite, which facilitated the conquest and rule of a vast multiethnic empire."aha