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無為 – On the Eurasian Roots of the Laissez-Faire Doctrine

Gerlach Christian ()
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Gerlach Christian: GAM Investments, Zürich, Switzerland

Man and the Economy, 2019, vol. 6, issue 2, 16

Abstract: This paper focuses on the diffusion of 無為/ wu-wei (an ancient Chinese concept of political economy) throughout Europe, between 1648 and 1848. It argues that at the core of this diffusion process were three significant developments; first, the importation and active transmission of wu-wei by the Low Countries during the seventeenth century. It is revealed that the details of Chinese expertise entered Europe via the textual diffusion of Jesuit texts and the visual diffusion of millions of so-called minben-images during the ceramic boom of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Thus, the hypothesis is advanced that the diffusion of wu-wei, co-evolved with the inner-European laissez-faire principle, the Libaniusian model.

Keywords: China; Coasian economics economic development; Eurasian economic thought; wu-wei (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1515/me-2019-0009

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