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Sources: Dictionaries of Political Administration

May 6, 2010

Hucker, Charles O. A dictionary of official titles in Imperial China. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1985.

The invaluable reference for imperial history begins with a long introduction that offers concise descriptions of governmental organization, dynasty by dynasty from Zhou to Qing, including simple organizational charts for most dynasties. The main body of the dictionary, prefaced by a user’s guide, consists of 8,291 individual entries for titles, names of offices, and related terminology, in which differing usages are explained and pan-dynastic evolutions are traced, and English translations are given. This is followed by a finding-list of suggested English renderings (English index), another for Chinese characters and compounds (Chinese index), and a conversion table from pinyin Romanization.

H.S.Brunnert and V.V.Hagelstrom. Present day political organization of China (Zhongguo qingmo zhengzhi zuzhi). Taibei, Book World Co., 1964 (Original edition: 1911).

This helpful book gives a detailed account of the governmental organizations of late Qing. It begins with the Emperor, the imperial court and metropolitan government, then it deals with central ministries, finally it discuss the local administration, civil and military. In each entry, it provides Chinese title, Engish equavalent, and explanation about its function. The English translations of titles have become conventional, and, with the original edition published in 1911, it is uniquely useful for New Policy reform institutions.

Yu, Lunian. Zhongguo guanzhi da cidian. 中国官职大辞典. Haerbin shi: Heilongjiang renmin chubanshe, 1992.

The main body contains 13,682 entries covering the period from ancient times to 1949. It falls into the following categories: origins of the official system, emperor system, central decision-making organs, central administrative institutions, local administrative institutions, judicial and supervisorial institutions, military institutions, civil examination systems, and official management systems. In each entry, different usages are explained and pan-dynastic changes are traced. It also includes many charts which offer concise organizational information about institutions.

Zhang, Zhenglang. Zhongguo gudai zhiguan da cidian. 中国古代职官大辞典. Zhengzhou shi: Henan renmin chubanshe, 1990.

It contains official titles and office names from ancient China to 1840. Organized by stroke

Bilancia, Philip R. Dictionary of Chinese law and government, Chinese-English. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1981.

Contains more than 25,000 Chinese terms covering the period from 1939 to 1977. Each main entry contains one or more of the following: English equivalent, definitions or explanations, cross references to related terms, and sub-entries. Organized in alphabetical order.

Lau, Yee-fui, Wan-yee Ho, Sai-cheung Yeung, and Nancy Ma. Glossary of Chinese political phrases. Hong Kong: Union Research Institute, 1977.

The glossary of Maoist era political terminology contains 2,054 entries which are presented alphabetically according to the pinyin romanization system. The period covered by the glossary spans the entire history of Chinese communist movement but is particularlly relevant to 1949-1977. Items chosen for inclusion are judged on the basis of their saliency and frequency of use in the political, economic and social life of PRC. Following each entry is a brief explanation drawn from specific sources in the Chinese press.

Guoli zhengzhi daxue, Guoji guanxi yanjiu zhongxin, and Warren Kuo. A comprehensive glossary of Chinese communist terminology. Taipei: Institute of International Relations National Chengchi University Republic of China, 1978.

The 2,287 entries cover the period from the inception of the CCP in 1921 through March 1977. Entries are listed in alphabetical order according to the Wade-Giles romanization system. In the explanation of most entries, an attempt has been made to provide the names, dates, places, movements and incidents connected with the terms.

Song, Chun, and Zhu Jianhua. Zhongguo zhengdan cidian. 中国政党辞典. Changchun shi: Jilin wenshi chubanshe, 1988.

Contains 1,232 entries (1840-1985), and is divided into the following categories: parties, political groups and organiztions, party programmes, works and documents, periodicals, conferences, major events, and party leaders. Generally, it doesn’t include much information on the CCP, concentrating on other Chinese parties. Organized by subject.


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