What is China's place in the contemporary study of global history? (Have a look at Pomeranz and/or some of the reviews for this question).
Is economic history the best approach to understanding China's role in global history? What other methodological approaches are available to study the relationship between China and the wider world?
What were the main (cultural) forces that brought China into contact with Europe between the 16th and the early 19th centuries (i.e. before the Opium Wars)? (Read David Mungello's book for this question, or Joanna Waley-Cohen, Sextants of Beijing)
How did early encounters between China and the West influence their interactions in the 19th and 20th centuries (i.e. after the Opium Wars)? (See Waley-Cohen's chapters on this subject).
Should we focus on China's relationship with Europe/'the West'? What other 'global contexts' are relevant here? What about East Asia?
Pomeranz, Ken. The Great Divergence (2000). Look at the chapter entitled 'Europe before Asia?' (Photocopy in the Short Loan Collection.) There are many reviews of this work. See, for example:
- Peter C. Perdue. Review of Pomeranz, Kenneth, The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy. H-World, H-Net Reviews. August, 2000.
- Prasannan Parthasarathi, ‘Review Article: The Great Divergence’, Past and Present, 176 (2002), pp. 275-293.
- P.H.H. Vries, ‘Are Coal and Colonies Really Crucial? Kenneth Pomeranz and the Great Divergence’, Journal of World History, 12, no. 2 (2001), pp. 408-446
- Several short articles about the significance of Kenneth Pomeranz’s The Great Divergence can be found in Historically Speaking 12.4 (2011). These include Peter A. Coclanis. "Ten Years After: Reflections on Kenneth Pomeranz’s The Great Divergence." Historically Speaking 12.4 (2011): 10-12; Jan de Vries. "The Great Divergence after Ten Years: Justly Celebrated yet Hard to Believe." Historically Speaking 12.4 (2011): 13-15; Philip T. Hoffman. "Comment on Ken Pomeranz’s The Great Divergence." Historically Speaking 12.4 (2011): 16-17; R. Bin Wong. "Economic History in the Decade after The Great Divergence." Historically Speaking 12.4 (2011): 17-19; Kenneth Pomeranz. "Ten Years After: Responses and Reconsiderations." Historically Speaking 12.4 (2011): 20-25.
Mungello, David. The Great Encounter of China and the West: 1500-1800 (2005, or 2009). DS 754.M8 (some of it is on Google Books)
Waley-Cohen, Sextants of Beijing: Global Currents in Chinese History (2000). DS 721.W2