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Institute of Advanced Study

Professor Jinyuan Liu

COFUND Senior Research Fellow at Trevelyan College, Durham University (July - September 2015)

Professor Liu is the Deputy Director of the Centre of Britain and the Commonwealth Studies, a professor at one of the oldest and best universities in China and its history school is famous for British history. He is Executive editor-in-chief of Chinese Journal of British Studies.

The proposed project is “Industrial Conflicts and State Intervention in Pre-Industrial England (1485-1760)". The conflicts between the masters and the journeymen formed industrial conflicts in early modern period, especially from Tudor period onwards. These conflicts were threats of order and authority. Therefore, the government passed a lot of ordinances and statutes of labourers, which attempted to control wages and employment conditions. The most important was the Statute of Artificers in 1563, which created the legal framework for English labour for over two centuries. The ideology of state intervention on industrial relations in pre-industrial England was paternalism. During the Fellowship it is planned to study the following topics:

(1) the manifestation forms, categories and features of industrial conflicts;

(2) the evolution of state statutes and its effects;

(3) Justice of Peace and the practice of conflicts-resolution, etc.

Materials on this topic will be collected and read, and a collaborative study carried out with the host as well as promotion of the research project on industrial relations in early modern Britain.

The topic is of considerable significance in China as the government grapples with problems of industrial relations in a country experiencing the most rapid economic transformation ever. This research could have really important public policy implications in China as the Chinese authorities have long given considerable attention to Britain’s historical experiences as the first industrialized nation.


“It has [...] successfully promoted the trans-cultural communications on the same research fields among the scholars from different countries. The three-month visit to Durham University has been the most wonderful and memorable experience in my life.”

Professor Jinyuan Liu, Nanjing University, PR China