Wilson Center Experts
Kenneth Pomeranz is Chancellor's Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine, and is currently a Visiting Fellow at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study. His books include, as author, The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Global Economy (2000), The World that Trade Created (2000 and 2005 editions), and The Environment and World History (2009).
Dr. Pomeranz's research has moved in three separate but 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, From Core to Hinterland, used one region of North China as a prism through which to view several related 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 pre-existing conflicts in Chinese society. Further projects in this area include a large collaborative study of the eighteenth and nineteenth century Chinese grain trade and the study of 200 years of protests (from tax riots and corvee resistance to the patronage of "heterodox" pilgrimage centers) in one city and its hinterland. Dr. Pomeranz received his Ph.D. from Yale University.
Dr. Pomeranz is co-founder of and contributing editor to the "China Beat," a blog based at UC Irvine. He is one of three co-editors of a book made up largely of posts from that blog, China in 2008: A Year of Great Significance (2009).