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

  • Carl Minzner, Fordham University School of Law

Confirmed Speakers

  • Elizabeth Pisani, Director, Ternyata Ltd.
  • Emily Baum, Assistant Professor of History, UC Irvine
  • Michele Goodwin, Chancellor's Professor of Law, UC Irvine School of Law
  • Alex Wang, Assistant Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
  • Benjamin van Rooij, Professor of Law, UC Irvine School of Law
  • Maura Cunningham, Program Officer, National Committee on U.S.-China Relations
  • Yan Yunxiang, Professor of Anthropology, UCLA
  • Mei Zhan, Associate Professor of Anthropology, UC Irvine
  • Yong Chen, Professor of History, UC Irvine
  • Victor Shih, Associate Professor of Political Science, UCSD
  • Wang Feng, Professor of Sociology, UC Irvine
  • Zhang Xiaojing, Professor of Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
  • Ching Kwan Lee, Professor of Sociology, UCLA
  • Dorothy Solinger, Professor of Political Science, UC Irvine
  • David Smith, Professor of Sociology, UC Irvine
  • Yang Su, Associate Professor of Sociology, UC Irvine
  • Paul Pickowicz, Distinguished Professor of History, UCSD
  • Kyung Kim, Professor of East Asian Languages and Literature, UC Irvine
  • Hu Ying, Professor of East Asian Languages and Literature, UC Irvine
  • Molly Roberts, Assistant Professor of Political Science, UCSD
  • Tom Bernstein, Professor Emeritus of Government, Columbia University
  • Jeff Wasserstrom, Chancellor's Professor of History, UC Irvine
  • Lisa Rofel, Professor of Anthropology, UC Santa Cruz