New European Research on Contemporary China Conference


New European Research on Contemporary China Conference


4-6 July 2012, European Delegation, Beijing


This conference aims to bring together doctoral candidates, post-doctoral researchers and recent PhDs based in China, either European nationals or affiliated with European research institutions, in order to produce an overview of the emerging problematics in Chinese studies. The focus of the conference is on contemporary China, in a multi-disciplinary perspective.

Organizing Committee

  • Aurélien Boucher, Tsinghua University Sino-French Studies Center (CFC)
  • Dorothea Leonhardi, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
  • Alice Fleury and Aurore Merle, French Center for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC)
  • Matthias Niedenführ (European Centre for China Studies, Peking University)
  • Zhu Yi, Heinrich-Böll Foundation

Scientific Committee

  • Natacha Aveline (CNRS, Paris; CEFC, Hong Kong)
  • Jean Philippe Béja (CERI, Science-Po, Paris ; CNRS, Beijing)
  • Michel Bonnin (EHESS, Paris; Tsinghua University, Beijing)
  • Jean-Pierre Cabestan (Baptist University, Hong Kong)
  • Pierre-Henry De Bruyn (CEFC, Hong Kong)
  • Sylvie Démurger (CNRS/GATE, Paris)
  • Bettina Gransow (Free University of Berlin, Germany; Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou)
  • Aurore Merle (CEFC, Hong Kong; Tsinghua University, Beijing)
  • Matthias Niedenführ (European Centre for China Studies, Peking University)
  • Isabelle Thireau (EHESS, CNRS, Paris; CEFC, Hong Kong; Peking University, Beijing)
  • Sebastian Veg (CEFC, Hong Kong)


The reforms launched in the late 1970s have deeply transformed Chinese society, but also research on China: the theoretical and methodological challenges raised by reform-era China have opened up a vast laboratory for researchers in humanities and social sciences. Along with the growing exchanges between China and Europe, not only has the number of European doctoral candidates and recent PhDs in humanities and social sciences doing research in and studying China increased; but many young Chinese scholars also choose to bring their expertise on contemporary China to European academic institutions. They all represent the future of European research on contemporary China.

The main purpose of the Conference held in Beijing is to provide, for the first time, a forum for these young researchers at the European level and in China. The Conference will be an occasion to facilitate exchanges on common research subjects, compare perspectives and methodologies, and promote interdisciplinary dialogue. By providing a space for debate and reflection, the Conference intends to contribute to the emergence of more diverse theoretical approaches on the subject. It will enable the participants not only to expand their network and broaden their horizon, but also to take part in the construction of European research networks and promote China-Europe dialogue.

The participants will present their research during thematic panels. Each speaker will deliver a paper in English, followed by a discussion with invited scholars and specialists. Among the different thematic panels:

  • Panel 1: State construction and reform in China: dynamics of the political and legal systems, the role of the Party, ideologies, foreign policy and international relations.
  • Panel 2: Economic reforms and industrial development: enterprises, innovation policies, environmental issues.
  • Panel 3: Territorial and social reconfigurations: centre-local relations, urban and rural development, migrations, inequalities.
  • Panel 4: Civil society and social movements: civil rights activism, social history, citizen action.
  • Panel 5: Traditional and new identities: religions, cultural communities, intellectual debates.