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From Frontier Policy to Foreign Policy: The Question of India and the Transformation of Geopolitics in Qing China Hardcover – February 20, 2013

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From Frontier Policy to Foreign Policy: The Question of India and the Transformation of Geopolitics in Qing China + Shared Histories of Modernity: China, India and the Ottoman Empire (Critical Asian Studies) + Grounds of Judgment: Extraterritoriality and Imperial Power in Nineteenth-Century China and Japan (Oxford Studies in International History)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press (February 20, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804782245
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804782241
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,197,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"In this impressive book, Matthew W. Mosca demonstrates that the reasons for the massive Qing intelligence failure about the world at large and strategic vulnerability along its coast lay not only in its bureaucratic structure, but also in the nature of Chinese geographic epistemology and the modes of geographic writing practiced in late imperial times . . . Mosca's fresh and erudite book will surely make all readers reconsider our understanding of Qing world views and the background to the Opium War."—James Millward, American Historical Review

"To the old narrative of Chinese ignorance of diplomatic relations, Mosca's work provides, not a complete revision, but an intelligent and persuasive reformulation in term of intellectual history, and in doing so outlines a methodology that might well be applied to other fields of Qing political history. The book impresses with its philological dexterity, and draws on a rich body of previously untapped archival sources in Manchu and Chinese. Its scope makes it a contribution, not only to Qing history, but to the history of Chinese foreign policy more generally, and of Sino-Indian relations."—David Brophy, China Journal

"Matthew W. Mosca has made a graceful and substantial contribution to our understanding not only of late imperial China (the expansive and multicultural Qing Empire in particular) but also of Inner Asian politics, the growth of 'British' India, and the nature of global interactions during the period from 1750 to 1860."—Richard J. Smith, H-Net

"Matthew Mosca's impressively researched and carefully structured new book maps the transformation of geopolitical worldviews in a crucial period of Qing and global history. . . . Readers from beyond the field of Chinese studies will find useful discussions here of multiple Qing modes of cartography, geography, and lexicography that inform a broader historical epistemology of the early modern world."—Carla Nappi, New Books in East Asian Studies

"Mosca presents a fresh, convincing take on Qing foreign affairs via close examination of how the state learned about and understood British India between 1757 and 1860. . . . Mosca analyzes the uneasy relationship between frontier policy and foreign policy in a multiethnic empire, offering much food for thought to theorists of international relations and to historians of Asia. Excellent scholarship, written with clarity and precision. . . . Highly recommended."—K. E. Stapleton, CHOICE

About the Author

Matthew W. Mosca is Assistant Professor in the Lyon G. Tyler Department of History at the College of William & Mary.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Fournier on August 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a brilliant and serious scholarly study of Qing foreign policy and how it played a very 'great game' in the geopolitics of its time. Moving from what Mosca dubs a "frontier policy" of dealing with each border area on-site according to regional pressures and in the local idiom, the Qing gradually developed a synoptic "foreign policy," seeing all its territories as part of a concerted grand strategy. The case study is India and the potential threat posed by the British empire. Mosca's scholarship is impressive--familiarity with half a dozen languages was necessary to follow some of the place names, from Sanskrit to Manchu, to say nothing of his ability to translate the writings of some of the key actors so you can see history through their own perspective.

There are all sorts of fun threads in this book: how does knowledge get created and lost, how is grand strategy formulated, what does imperialism look like through Asian eyes, or with a Chinese/Manchu face?

Despite being marketed as serious scholarship, this would be a brilliant book for anyone interested in China in the world, or someone looking for a perspective on China in international relations.
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