An Old Warlord's Guide to World Peace and Love: Yan Xishan's Confucian Cosmopolitan International

Wednesday 11 November 2015 (16:15-17:15)

Speaker: Konrad Lawson (St Andrews)

Part of the Modern and Contemporary History Seminar Series Autumn 2015.

Lecture theatre 4, first floor,  Arts building (R16 on the campus map).

Abstract: Yan Xishan was one of the most famous Chinese warlords of the 20th century, controlling his province of Shanxi for over four decades, experimenting with an eclectic mix of social and political reforms, and alternately fighting and cooperating with his various military and political opponents, including Nationalist and Communist Chinese forces and the invading Japanese.

In his final years in Taiwan, Yan became a utopian in defeat, devoting his final years to fine tuning an alternative vision of world order based on love, anti-Communism, a planned economy, and an institutional cosmopolitanism.

This talk situates Yan’s plans for global unity in its longer historical context, but also argues that it is best interpreted as belonging to a broader global repository of creative expressions of transnational idealism peaking in the middle of the century.

All are welcome and there will be drinks afterwards.

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