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"The Careers of the Ganden Phodrang Officials (1895-1959): Patrimonial Aspects of Public Service"

Abstract : This paper offers a socio-historical investigation into the administration of the Dga' ldan pho brang, the central government of Tibet, through a prosopographical study. Thanks to oral and written sources (interviews with noble men and women, British archives and autobiographies by noble men and women), the data concerning the careers of 441 noble officials (hence mostly lay officials) of the government have been collected and put into a database, covering the period from 1895 to 1959. The aim is to understand the nature of this administration, with a theoretical basis provided by the work of Max Weber and other sociologists of the State. The main question here is to explore a specific aspect of the Ganden phodrang administration, the intermingling of private and public spheres in careers. First, the question of the family place in the careers (some offices were transmitted within a household, or several members of one household could work together in the administration, for instance) will be discussed. Second, the financial flows in both directions will be considered, i.e. the financing of the State by private money as well as the enrichment of private individuals through the service of the State. This study leads to question the patrimonial nature of the office in the Ganden phodrang administration.
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Contributor : Alice Travers <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 1:09:35 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, November 28, 2020 - 3:28:24 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-00933942, version 1


Alice Travers. "The Careers of the Ganden Phodrang Officials (1895-1959): Patrimonial Aspects of Public Service". Roberto Vitali. Studies on the History and Literature of Tibet and the Himalaya, Vajra Publications, pp.157-181, 2012, 9789937506793. ⟨hal-00933942⟩



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