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Research Centers

Institutions and Society

Chief Coordinator: Ren-yuan Li

The Institutions and Society Research Center was formally established on July 1, 1998, initially as the Legal History Research Center, and was renamed twice since then. Following the discoveries and use of various central and local judicial records, institutional decrees and precedents, judicial casebooks, bamboo slips and manuscripts of ancient legal codes, etc., the scope of legal history has been continuously expanding. As of 2022, the name Institutions and Society Research Center has been adopted in the hope of continuing our aim of promoting academic exchange and cooperation between different fields of study.

The research center emphasizes discussions on the relationships between institutions and society in different regions and periods of time. State institutions, such as judiciary system, state finance, bureaucracy and recruitment, local administration, state infrastructure, and military system , etc., are the primary focus of our research center, but we also expect to expand our attention to other institutions, , such as family and lineage, business and markets, as well as rituals and beliefs, into the scope of our studies. In this way, our hope is to better understand the interactions between institutions and actors, institutions and social communities, as well as the interactions between different institutions within historical processes.