Comparing China: Hopes and Fears of a Rising Power

Monday, April 27, 2015
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
UC Irvine School of Law, EDU 1111

This workshop is intended to serve as the first in a series of annual Irvine gatherings devoted to placing contemporary Chinese phenomena into both interdisciplinary and comparative perspective, taking advantage of the depth of knowledge about Chinese society spread across several UC Irvine schools, as well as the rising interest among non-China specialists in bringing data from and case studies of the country into comparative studies. The events will also draw attention to the richness of expertise on China in the Southern California area as a whole, something that UCI is uniquely placed to showcase.

The focus of this inaugural symposium is on the mixture of excitement and anxiety that has been triggered by China’s recent economic boom, increased enmeshment in international structures and systems, and growing geopolitical clout. We live in a moment of strongly articulated hopes related to China, some of them invoked by Xi Jinping’s “Chinese Dream” allusions and expressed in the posters that promote this slogan. Competing with Xi’s optimistic visions of a resurgent China and individual tales of upward mobility is a constellation of fears and worries. These relate to everything from daily life concerns of health and well being, including broad concerns about corruption, censorship, and the way that the country’s rapid development threatens the global environment.

Major support for this workshop is provided by UC Irvine School of Social Sciences, with important co-sponsoring and coordinating roles played by the Long U.S.-China Institute for Business and Law, and additional support from the School of Humanities, the Department of History, the Department of Anthropology, the Newkirk Center for Science and Society, The Forum for the Academy and the Public, the Center for Asian Studies, the Medical Humanities Initiative and the Humanities Commons.

Keynote Speaker

Confirmed Speakers