is the UCI Chancellor's Professor
of History at the University of California, Irvine
The University of California, Irvine , founded in 1965, is one of the ten campuses of the University of California, located in Irvine, California, USA...
in the US
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
. He received his B.A. from Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...
in 1980 and his Ph.D.
Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as Ph.D., PhD, D.Phil., or DPhil , in English-speaking countries, is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities...
from Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...
in 1988, where he was a student of Jonathan Spence
Jonathan D. Spence is a British-born historian and public intellectual specializing in Chinese history. He was Sterling Professor of History at Yale University from 1993 to 2008. His most famous book is The Search for Modern China, which has become one of the standard texts on the last several...
Pomeranz's research has moved in three related directions. The first is the study of the reciprocal influences of state, society and economy in late Imperial and twentieth-century China. His first book, The Making of a Hinterland: State, Society and Economy in Inland North China, 1853-1937
serves as a prism through which to view several themes: the re-orientation of the Chinese state from a focus on social reproduction (especially in ecologically marginal areas) to an emphasis on survival in a world of competing nation states; changing relations between the national government, regional interests and legal society; economic (especially agricultural) and ecological change; peasant protest and collective violence and the effects of imperialism on state-making, regional disparities and existing conflicts in Chinese society.
His second set of projects develop similar themes on a much larger scale, attempting to understand the origins of a world economy as the outcome of mutual influences among regions, rather than the simple imposition by a more "advanced" Europe on the rest of the world. A first volume on this subject, which analyzes early industrialization in the context of ecological constraints shared by most of the world's most densely populated and commercially sophisticated regions and the unique exit from those problems given to Europe by its privileged access to the New World as by any unique and internally generated advantages. The book combines a comparative economic and ecological history, which attempts to assess the importance for those trajectories of social, political and cultural difference among world regions, with an attempt to re-think the importance (particularly for ecology) of connections among these regions.
Significant appearance in the China's Century of Humiliation - Documentary Film 2011
China in 2008 : a year of great significance. (co-ed.). Lanham : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009.
The environment and world history. (co-ed.) Berkeley : University of California Press, 2009.
“Orthopraxy, orthodoxy, and the goddess(es) of Taishan [examination of the Bixia yuanjun cult].” Modern China (Thousand Oaks, CA) 33, no.1 (2007) 22-46.
“Region and world in economic history: the early modern / modern divide” Transactions of the International Conference of Eastern Studies (Tokyo) no.52 (2007) 41-55.
“Standards of living in eighteenth-century China: regional differences, temporal trends, and incomplete evidence” In: Allen, Robert C.; Bengtsson, Tommy; Dribe, Martin, eds. Living standards in the past: new perspectives on well-being in Asia and Europe. Oxford, England; New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. xxii, 472p. 23-54.
“Women's work and the economics of respectability [boundaries]” In: Goodman, Bryna; Larson, Wendy, eds. Gender in motion: divisions of labor and cultural change in late imperial and modern China. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2005. x, 343p. (Asia / Pacific / perspectives) 239-263.
“Women's work, family, and economic development in Europe and East Asia: long-term trajectories and contemporary comparisons” In: Arrighi, Giovanni; Hamashita, Takeshi; Selden, Mark, eds. The resurgence of East Asia: 500, 150 and 50 year perspectives. London; New York: Routledge, 2003. xiii, 354p. (Asia's transformations) 124-172.
“Facts are stubborn things: a response to Philip Huang” Journal of Asian Studies (Ann Arbor, MI) 62, no.1 (Feb 2003) 167-181.
“Political economy and ecology on the eve of industrialization: Europe, China, and the global conjuncture” American Historical Review (Washington, DC) 107, no.2 (Apr 2002) 425-446.
“Beyond the East-West binary: resituating development paths in the eighteenth-century world” Journal of Asian Studies (Ann Arbor, MI) 61, no.2 (May 2002) 539-590.
“Is there an East Asian development path? Long-term comparisons, constraints, and continuities” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient (Leiden) 44, pt.3 (Aug 2001) 322-362.
The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy. Princeton University Press, 2000.
- Winner of John King Fairbank Prize for best book in East Asian history, American Historical Association, 2001. Joint winner of the World History Association prize for best book of 2000. Listed by Choice as one of the Notable Academic Books of the Year for 2000.
“Re-thinking the late imperial Chinese economy: development, disaggregation and decline, circa 1730-1930” Itinerario (Leiden) 24, nos.3-4 (2000) 29-74.
The World that Trade Created: Society, Culture and the World Economy, 1400 to the Present. M. E. Sharpe: 1999.
"Ritual Imitation and Political Identity in North China: The late Imperial Legacy and the Chinese National State Revisited," Twentieth Century China 23:1 Fall, 1997.
"Power, Gender and Pluralism in the cult of the Goddess of Taishan," in R. Bin Wong, Theodore Huters, and pauline Yu, eds., Culture and State in Chinese History (Stanford University Press, 1997).
“"Traditional" Chinese business forms revisited: family, firm, and financing in the history of the Yutang Company of Jining, 1779-1956.” Late Imperial China (Baltimore, MD) 18, no.1 (Jun 1997) 1-38.
The Making of a Hinterland: State, Society and Economy in Inland North China, 1853-1937. University of California Press, 1993.
- Winner of John King Fairbank Prize for best book in East Asian history, American Historical Association, 1994.
“Local interest story: political power and regional differences in the Shandong capital market, 1900-1937” In: Rawski, Thomas G.; Li, Lillian M., eds. Chinese history in economic perspective. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992. 362p. 295-318.
"Water to Iron, Widows to Warlords: the Handam Rain Shrine in Modern Chinese History," Late Imperial China (Pasadena, CA) 12, no.1 (Jun 1991) 62-99.
Awards and honors
- 2001 John King Fairbank Prize for best book in East Asian history
- 2001 World History Association Book Prize
- 1997 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship
- 1994 John King Fairbank Prize for best book in East Asian history
- Ricardo Duchesne: On the Rise of the West: Researching Kenneth Pomeranz's Great Divergence", Review of Radical Political Economics
The Review of Radical Political Economics is the quarterly journal of the Union for Radical Political Economics www.URPE.org. Launched in 1968, it is a leading venue for scholarly articles on radical political economics, including Marxist, feminist, lnstitutional, ecological, and post-Keynesian...
, Vol. 36, No. 1, 2004, pp. 52–81