ChinaTalks Archive – University of Copenhagen

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ChinaTalks Archive

In March 2014, ThinkChina.dk and Asian Dynamics Initiative launched the lecture series ChinaTalks, which brings international scholars and experts specialized in China to the University of Copenhagen to give presentations for both students and external participants. The events are open to all, but registration is usually required.

For upcoming ChinaTalks head over to our calendar.




27 September 2016: Professor David Shambaugh

ChinaTalks lecture: Prospects for the 19th Party Congress and China's Future

The Chinese Communist Party approaches its 19th Congress this autumn and questions abound about the political strength and staying power of Xi Jinping. Who will compose the next Politburo, China’s top leadership? What will be their policy orientations? More deeply, though, there exist many questions about China's internal and external policy orientation, and whether the post-Congress leadership will be able to restart a variety of reforms that have stalled since the 18th Congress in 2012. There are also questions about the quality of the Communist Party itself, following five years of an intensive anti-corruption campaign, ideological tightening, and a severe crackdown on the public sphere in China. Will China stay on its current "hard authoritarian" path, or might it shift back in a more liberal direction? These and other pressing questions will be explored in Professor Shambaugh's public lecture.

Organizers: ThinkChina.dk, Danish-Chinese Business Forum


9 September 2017: Professor Jack Qiu

ChinaTalks: Goodbye iSlave - A Manifesto for Digital Abolition


Old and new working-class people in China are adopting and appropriating digital media, while the digital economy is creating entirely new jobs, communities, and socio-political dynamics. The digital working class marks a fourth stage in the modern history of Chinese class politics, when China has become the world's factory with immense labor power and increasing social inequality, when the content of Chinese working-class culture has become more diverse and impactful than ever as could be seen in the Fan Yusu phenomenon in spring 2017, all happening at a time when the results of China's internal processes become more consequential for the world at large. What are the characteristics of China's digital working class? How can we make sense of it, through what conceptual frameworks? This talk shall discuss the applicability of the "circuits of labor" model (Qiu, Gregg and Crawford, 2014), its premises, limits and implications for future research.

Organizers: Think China & NIAS




28 April 2017: Professor Lora Saalman

ChinaTalks Lecture Series: China and Russia: Assessing Strategic Convergence


The annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russia and the re-appropriation of territory in the South China Sea by China are often attributed with fostering a new security dynamic in Europe and Asia. Russia has sought to accelerate its own ‘pivot to Asia’ (Поворот к Азии) and to deepen its evolving engagement with China. China’s own territorial concerns have also triggered its own ‘peripheral diplomacy’ (周边外交) and reprioritization of its relations with its neighbours. Based on SIPRI’s 2017 workshop and report ‘China–Russia Relations and Regional Dynamics: From Pivots to Peripheral Diplomacy’, Dr. Lora Saalman will explore case studies connected with each country’s territorial interests in Ukraine and the South China Sea, as well as their interaction vis-à-vis the United States. In doing so, she will focus on two arenas of increasing Russian and Chinese convergence, namely cyberspace and nuclear deterrence.

Organizers: ThinkChina & Center for Military Studies



4 October 2016: Professor Pengjun Zhao

ChinaTalks Lecture Series: Building Inclusive Cities

This lecture introduces the recent studies on informal or illegal development on the urban fringe in China's large cities.  In particular, it investigates a new type of informal development, the gated informal community where thousands of middle-income urban residents are residing.  The institutional, social and economic factors influencing informal urban development will be assessed. The existing planning system barriers to the prevention of the informal development will also be discussed.


Organizers: ThinkChina.dk and the Sustainability Science Centre



5 September 2016: Dingxin Zhao

ChinaTalks Lecture Series: "Collective Actions in Post-Mao China: Between Chaos and Discipline"

This talk argues that social movements and collective actions in post-Mao China have developed in three overlapping stages. The first stage, between 1976 and 1989, is characterized by the large-scale state-centered protests. The second stage covers the period roughly between 1992 and 2002. Protests of this period tend to be small-to-medium in size, local, and economic-oriented. Most protests of this period are also competitive and reactive rather than proactive in nature. The third stage started around 2002 and lasted until 2012. In this period, middle class protesters gained significant rights consciousness, protests turned increasingly proactive and grew a strong populist tendency, and many protests (particular the newly emerged online protests) have experienced a tendency of partial repoliticalization. 

Organizers: ThinkChina.dk, Saxo Institute


9 November 2015: Professor Michael Puett

ChinaTalks: Ritual and Sincerity: Theories from China

"One of the more exciting recent developments in the social sciences and humanities has been the attempt to explore the enormous body of theory that has been generated in cultures throughout the world and to bring this body of indigenous theory into conversation with Western theory.  This paper will attempt a small contribution to this larger project by discussing some of the indigenous theories concerning ritual and sincerity that have developed in the Chinese tradition.


Organizers: ThinkChina.dk


05 March 2016: Dr Barry Naughton


ChinaTalks Lecture Series: Will China find a ‘New Normal’?

As part of our ChinaTalks Lecture Series, we are proud to present Barry Naughton who is Professor of Chinese Economy at UC San Diego. Barry Naughton is one of the world’s most highly respected economists working on China and an international authority on China's transition to a market economy.


Organizers: ThinkChina Working Group on Economics and Business and CFA Society Denmark


14 September 2015: Marc Lanteigne, Senior Research Fellow, NUPI,

China's Foreign Policy - a new normal?

In the ChinaTalk "China's Foreign Policy - a new normal?", Marc Lanteigne, Senior Research Fellow, NUPI, will discuss the recent trends in China's foreign policy under Xi Jinping.

March Lanteigne is the author of "Chinese Foreign Policy: An Introduction" which has just come out in 3rd edition. 

The seminar is moderated by Professor Bertel Heurlin, UCPH.

The ChinaTalk is open to the public and free of charge but registration is required. Please sign up before September 11.


Organizers: Center for Military Studies and ThinkChina


12 August 2015: Dr Ran Wei: 

Assessing the Status of Communication Research in Asia: General trends, enduring Issues and new opportunities

The 21st century has been called “the Asian Century” by Eastern and Western academics, largely due to the economic and cultural rise of China. What exactly does this mean for communication research? What are the implications for communication scholars in an era of rising global power, technology and international diplomacy? 


Organizers: ThinkChina.dk, the Department of Political Science


15 June 2015: Dr Zhao Quansheng
The New Type of US-China Relations: A Dual Leadership Structure in Asia-Pacific 


China and the U.S. have entered into a new structure with regards to leadership in the region. The rising power (China) plays a leadership role in the economic and financial dimensions (which can be seen in the most recent development of the China-led AIIB), while the existing hegemon (U.S.) plays a leadership role in the military, security, and political dimensions. 


Organizers: ThinkChina.dk, the Department of Political Science


6 June 2015: Andrew Scobell
China's Great Leap Outward: Hard and Soft Dimensions of a Rising Power


The rise of China is perhaps the most compelling story in 21st Century world politics.  Much has been written on the subject, some of it reasoned and sensible and some of it speculation and hyperbole.  China’s rise is likely to continue but is not assured.  What kind of power - hard and soft - does China have and how effectively is China employing its power around the globe?  


Organizers: ThinkChina.dk, the Department of Political Science


19 March 2015: Professor Li Lianjiang
The enigma of President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign


Li Lianjiang is Professor at the Department of Government and Public Administration, Chinese University of Hong Kong. 


Organizer: ThinkChina


19 March 2015: Professor Christian Gobel
Defragmenting Authoritarianism: Online complaining, accountability and power concentration in China


Christian Göbel is Professor of Chinese Studies at the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Vienna. 


Organizer: ThinkChina


9 March 2015: Professor Amitav Acharya
Taming China: Can Asia Overcome Chinese Dominance and Avoid Europe's Past?


While the rise of China is clearly reshaping the balance of power in Asia and the world at large, the region has also witnessed equally important and longer-term changes, especially economic interdependence, multilateral institutions and domestic politics. These changes, whose beginnings predate the rise of China, become clear by comparing Asia in the immediate aftermath of World War II and Asia today.


Organizers: ADI, ThinkChina.dk, and Dept. of Political Science


7 October 2014: Dr. Ding Chun
The New Horizon of China's Socioeconomic Development


China’s current growth model is characterized by uneven wealth distribution and a number of demographic challenges, including a growing elderly population. But how are China’s social security systems being reformed to address issues like poverty and social insurance? The talk addresses such welfare-oriented reforms in light of China’s recent economic and social development. 


Organizers: Fudan-European Centre for China Studies, Asian Dynamics Initiative (ADI) and ThinkChina.dk


3 October 2014: Dr. Bai Tongdong
Confucianism to save the world!


The cultural messages of a rising China, and how a Confucian hybrid regime can address issues that democracies are not structured to a address.


Organizers: Fudan-European Centre for China Studies, Asian Dynamics Initiative (ADI) and ThinkChina.dk


30 September 2014: Dr. Shen Jie
Restless urban landscapes in China: Examining the effects of urbanization and urban lifestyles in post-reform China


Along with the launch of market-oriented reforms, the Chinese city has manifested itself with radical changes. The talk investigates the emergence of diversified spaces in post-reform China by exploring broader social forces influencing the production and consumption of urban landscapes.


Organizers: Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, Urban Culture Labs, Asian Dynamics Initiative (ADI) and ThinkChina.dk


10 September 2014: Ou Ning
Bishan Project: Cultural Production and Social Engineering


Ou Ning questions and critiques the urbanization haze flowing through most of China's urban areas and areas on the urban fringe carrying with it extensive and serious consequences for China’s rural areas, both in terms of an atomization of rural communities, and in terms of the unequal division of political as well as economic resources between urban and rural areas. 


Organizers: Dept. of Arts and Cultural Studies and Asian Dynamics Initiative with support from the Danish Arts


25 August 2014: Dr. Shen Yifei
The iFamily: Self, Family and State in the Risk Society 


Departing from the theory of individualization, risk society and methodological individualism, the talk explored the concept of “iFamily” in today’s urban China. It is generally acknowledged that the modernization process has given rise to the nuclearization of the family with emphasis on emotional functions and on conjugal rather than intergenerational (parent-child) ties. 


Organizers: Dept. of Sociology, Koordinationen for Kønsforskning, ADI, ThinkChina.dk


11 June 2014: Professor Yu Kongjian
Ecological Solutions to urban water issues in China


China’s rapid urbanization has given rise to a number of severe water-related environmental problems, including floods, contamination of drinking water, loss of habitats, and urban inundation. At the forefront of finding solutions to these problems in future planning is the landscape architecture firm Turenscape, which has been able to test ideas that are still only theories in the Western world. 


Organizers: ThinkChina.dk, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Asian Dynamics Initiative


12 May 2014: Professor David Lampton
Coping with Calamities: China’s Leaders and the Dilemmas of Reform 


China's leaders seek to govern a piece of global real estate that regularly creates enormous natural calamities, often in the context of inadequate resources. Meanwhile, the policy-making system the Party has fashioned over a very long time creates difficulties in responding to both natural and man-made challenges. 


Organizers: ThinkChina.dk, Asian Dynamics Initiative and Department of Political Science


30 April 2014: Richard Herd
How long can China's economy continue to grow rapidly? Demographic and environmental challenges


China's economy is transforming rapidly, and faces a number of massive demographic and environmental challenges. But how can the economic changes best be understood, and what reforms will be necessary for ensuring a continued success in economic development? 


Organizers: ThinkChina.dk, Asian Dynamics Initiative, Økonomisk Institut and Socialøkonomisk Samfund


3 April 2014: Anthropologist Vanessa Fong
Paradise Redefined: Transnational Chinese Students and the Quest for Flexible Citizenship in the Developed World 


Anthropologist Vanessa Fong visits the University of Copenhagen to present her longitudinal study of Chinese students who seek opportunities abroad for college. Her talk connects a deep and thorough data set on the experiences of her subjects - the first generation of China's reform era - to such concepts as transnationalism and flexible citizenship. 


Organizers: ThinkChina.dk, Department of Anthropology, and Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies



26 March 2014: Professor David Zweig
Staying in Power: Why the Communist Party of China Will Continue to Rule 


Having led the People's Republic of China for 65 years, the Communist Party remains the country's unchallenged political authority. But why is it so successful at maintaining power, and why is it likely to continue leading the world's most significant rising power in the decades to come? 


Organizers: ThinkChina.dk and ADI