Research Programmes

The research programme has the same broad objectives as the journal: to examine in depth the interplay between China’s social development and globalisation. Its principal researchers will be engaged in projects relating to specific aspects of this interaction, as outlined below:

Broad Themes and Research Fields

• Globalisation, in its many forms (economic, financial, cultural, social, political, security-related, environmental, communications) is perhaps the key underlying force that will determine how the world will develop, evolve and change this century.

• China, with around a quarter of the world’s population, an economy growing steadily at more than 6% pa, a powerful military capability and a growing global presence, especially in Africa, is having an increasingly important impact on world politics.

• As China engages in more and more economic, financial and military transactions on a global scale, so, inevitably, will it be increasingly affected by the forces of globalisation. But the converse is also true: China’s size and economic and military power will have an increasing impact on the processes of globalisation.

• It is no exaggeration to argue that the interaction between a rising China and the ongoing processes of globalisation will be the single most crucial element determining ‘the shape of things to come’.

Research Topics

• Much of the discussion of globalisation has tended to assume that it is, in many respects, synonymous with ‘westernisation’, or, more narrowly, ‘Americanisation’. China, however, has its own rich traditions, culture and history as well as a political system that in some respects is opposed to Western political ideas and institutions. Could globalisation come to be synonymous with ‘Sinicisation’? If so, what would this mean in practice? Or will we witness an ongoing tension between Western and Chinese versions of globalisation? If so will this tension be creative and productive or destructive?

• What will be the specific impacts of this interaction on issue areas like communications, the environment, the world economy, the evolution of civil society, international law and institutions, human rights, culture?

• Does globalisation pose a fundamental challenge or an opportunity to China?

• Does the interaction between the rise of China and globalisation pose a challenge or an opportunity to the rest of the world?