Cameron Campbell is professor in the Division of Social Science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is also Associate Dean for Research and Postgraduate Studies in the School of Humanities and Social Science.
Campbell's current research examines influences on the careers of officials and composition of the bureaucracy during the Qing (1644-1911) using a database constructed from the surviving editions of the Jinshenlu (缙绅录), a nearly complete roster of government employees that was published quarterly. He is collaborating with James Lee and other members of the Lee-Campbell Research Group for this project.
This is the first study of a national bureaucracy for a major country in its entirety to use complete microdata on the careers of officials.
Campbell's earlier research focused on kinship, inequality, and demographic behavior in China and in comparative perspective. The results have been published in books as well as numerous articles in publications such as American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Demography, Social Science and Medicine, and Population Studies. For this research, he and his collaborators in the Lee-Campbell Research Group construct, analyze and publicly release large databases from historical materials such as population registers. Their past data releases include the China Multigenerational Panel Databases which cover parts of northeast China in the 18th and 19th century and are being used to study demography, family organization, and stratification in historical China. His work has been supported by funding from the United States National Institutes of Health, the Hong Kong Research Grants Council, and other sources.
Before moving to HKUST in 2013, he was in the Department of Sociology at UCLA for 17 years. He earned PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, and his Bachelor’s degree at the California Institute of Technology. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004.
We present new results on the career trajectories of Qing government employees and composition of the Qing bureaucracy based on analysis of a new database being constructed from the quarterly Jinshenlu (缙绅录) and related data sources such as Timinglu (题名录) and Zhujuan (朱卷). Each edition of the Jinshenlu recorded 13,000-15,000 government employees, ranging from high officials in the Six Ministries and other important government offices all the way down to low-level positions in county administrations. At present, the database comprises more than 1,000,000 records of 200,000 government employees. Approximately half of these are from the late Guangxu and Xuantong eras, and the remainder are from various editions from the Qianlong to the early Guangxu.period. In this talk, we will introduce key features of the 缙绅录 database, and then provide examples from our ongoing analysis of results that challenge existing assumptions about the structure and composition of the Qing bureaucracy, the role of the examination system, and the career paths of Qing government employees. We then describe our plans for future expansion of the database, and analysis of additional questions.