SOAS University of London

SOAS China Institute

SOAS China Institute Monday Seminars

SOAS China Institute Monday Seminars examine the fundamental issues facing China today and provides unique opportunities to gain insight into China through the perspectives of internationally respected experts from both inside and outside of China.   

Convenor and Chair: Professor Steve Tsang

Contact Li-Sa Whittington/ Aki Elborzi on sci@soas.ac.uk for further information.

Please note that we do not distribute seminar notes.

Show Current events in this series

Previous Events in this series

Chinese neostatist thinkers and the restructuring of Hong Kong

Prof. Sebastian Veg (EHESS)

The recent changes to Hong Kong’s constitutional framework, including the 2020 National Security Law and the 2021 Electoral Reform, are not simply an adjustment, but can be seen as a comprehensive “restructuring”. What are the ideas underpinning these changes and do they hold significance beyond Hong Kong?

7 June 2021, Virtual Event, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

The Future of Democracy in Hong Kong

Michael C. Davis (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; New York University and Jindal Global University) and Nathan Law (Hong Kong democratic activist and former legislator)

This panel discussion will trace how Hong Kong got to where it is today, what the key challenges are, and what roles supporters of democracy in Hong Kong or elsewhere can play in the foreseeable future.

17 May 2021, Virtual Event, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Recovering China’s Maritime History

Valerie Hansen (Stanley Woodward Professor of History, Yale University)

China’s long history as a powerful agrarian state has distracted many from its very real engagement with the ocean. Its contacts with South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and East Africa date back to the year 1000 and even before.

10 May 2021, Virtual Event, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Few Strings Attached: Why Countries Join the Belt and Road Initiative

Prof. M. Taylor Fravel (Security Studies Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Although the motives for China’s development of the Belt and Road Initiative have been well studied, scholars have yet to examine why partner states seek to join in the first place. Professor Fravel will talk about his paper, which seeks to fill this gap by focusing on the memorandums of understanding (MOUs) that states sign with China to formally join BRI.

26 April 2021, Virtual Event, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

China’s Quest for Foreign Technology: Beyond Espionage

Didi Kirsten Tatlow (German Council on Foreign Relations; Projekt Sinopsis)

For decades, the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese state have operated a vast, intricate and highly successful system of science and technology transfer from overseas to “serve the country.” This seminar will present the findings of Didi Kirsten Tatlow's recent co-authored book explaining how the system works - and why it is becoming an existential challenge to democracies.

19 April 2021, Virtual Event, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Aspects of Defense Industrialization in China, 1949-1989

Professor David Bachman (Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington)

This seminar is based on Prof. Bachman's book project in process on China’s defense industrialization.

15 March 2021, Virtual Event, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

The Rise of the Chinese Techno-Security State Under Xi Jinping

Tai Ming Cheung (Professor, School of Global Policy and Strategy, and Director, University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation)

Dr Cheung examines China under Xi Jinping as an expansive techno-security state.

22 February 2021, Virtual Event, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

A World Safe for Autocracy? The Domestic Politics of China’s Foreign Policy

Associate Professor Jessica Chen Weiss (Cornell University)

Weiss will discuss her new book project, which theorizes and illustrates the domestic-international linkages in Beijing’s approach to issues ranging from sovereignty and homeland disputes to climate change and COVID-19.

8 February 2021, Virtual Event, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

The Political Genesis of Local Government Debt in China

Professor Jean C. Oi (Stanford University)

This seminar looks at China’s rapidly growing local government debt (LGD), which is now branded a “grey rhino,” a known threat that has received little attention.  

1 February 2021, Virtual Event, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Comparisons of a New Sino-US Cold War with the Old Soviet (Sino)-US Cold War

Professor Gilbert Rozman (Princeton University and The Asan Forum)

Professor Gilbert Rozman compares a new Sino-US Cold War with the Old Soviet (Sino)-US Cold War by differentiating a cold war into four primary dimensions: geographic, strategic, economic, and national identity.

25 January 2021, Virtual Event, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Why China Should Democratize (and sooner rather than later)

Professor Joseph Wong (Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto)

In this webinar, Professor Wong argues the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) should consider democratizing sooner rather than later, to usher in democratic reform in China, and importantly, for the regime to maintain political power

18 January 2021, Virtual Event, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

China 1949: Year of Revolution

Graham Hutchings (University of Oxford China Centre and University of Nottingham)

This talk will explore something of the human drama at the heart of the 1949 story, and show how the communist conquest of mainland China in that year provides a key to understanding the behaviour of the Chinese state under Xi Jinping, more than 70 years later.

11 January 2021, Virtual Event, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

China as a Rising Military Power: Developments, Dynamics, Downsides, and Dangers

Professor Andrew S. Erickson (U.S. Naval War College; Visiting Scholar, Harvard Fairbank Center)

China has already parlayed the world’s second largest economy and defense budget into armed forces boasting global superlatives. China under Xi has likely reached its peak growth rate and the zenith of its leaders’ ability to mobilize resources to serve ambitious national objectives.

30 November 2020, Virtual Event, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

What Explains the Resilience of Chinese Communist Party Rule?

Tony Saich (Director of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation / Daewoo Professor of International Affairs)

This talk will look at different explanations for the continued resilience of the Communist Party of China.

16 November 2020, Virtual Event, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

’The invention of the Han race’

Bill Hayton (Chatham House)

In this talk Bill Hayton will argue that the idea of a Han Race was constructed at the beginning of the twentieth century as a political strategy to support the arguments of revolutionary Chinese nationalism.

9 November 2020, Virtual Event, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

What Is Xi Fighting? The Dynamics of Corruption in Post-Mao China

Professor Andrew Wedeman (Georgia State University)

Analysis of the anti-corruption crackdown launched by Xi Jinping in late 2012, early 2013 shows its primary effect was to dramatically increase the number of senior officials – popularly known as “tigers” – charged with corruption.

2 November 2020, Virtual Event, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Contentious Politics in China under Xi Jinping’s rule

Lynette H. Ong (University of Toronto)

Since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2013, China’s domestic political landscape has gone through some significant transformation.

26 October 2020, Virtual Event, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

China's Grand Strategy under Xi Jinping: Reassurance, Reform, and Resistance

Professor Avery Goldstein (University of Pennsylvania)

China's grand strategy under Xi Jinping is clearly distinctive. It does not, however, fundamentally break with the grand strategy that China has embraced since the early 1990s—one that aims to realize what is now labeled “the dream of national rejuvenation.”

12 October 2020, Virtual Event, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

The Reinvention of Dictatorship

Kai Strittmatter (writer and correspondent for Sueddeutsche Zeitung)

The past seven years under the leadership of China’s strong man Xi Jinping have been remarkable. Repression and censorship are stronger than they have been for decades, and ideology has crept back in.

5 October 2020, Virtual Event, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Everything under the Sun: Buddhism and Christianity in Postwar Taiwan

Dr Scott Pacey (University of Nottingham)

Mao’s rise had profound implications for inter-religious engagement in the People’s Republic of China (PRC); at the same time, the subsequent expansion of Christianity in Taiwan meant that to understand the history of Chinese Buddhist-Christian engagement, we must consider the Republic of China (ROC) as well.

2 March 2020, Russell Square: College Buildings, G3, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

China’s Century?: Implications for us all

Lord Stephen Green

The next hundred years will bring more change than we can easily imagine: more opportunities for more people to achieve the fulfilment of a good life - and more risk of catastrophe and harm to the whole planet than we have ever known before. Asians in general - and perhaps China in particular - will play a leading role in all this.

17 February 2020, Russell Square: College Buildings, G3, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Disability in China: Citizenship, Identity and Culture

Dr Sarah Dauncey (University of Nottingham)

Who defines what it means to be ‘disabled’ in China today? In this talk, Sarah Dauncey looks at the construction of disabled identities specifically from the perspective of Chinese cultural epistemologies.

3 February 2020, Russell Square: College Buildings, G3, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

The Implications of Xi Jinping’s New Era for Global Human Rights

Professor Eva Pils (King's College London)

In Xi Jinping’s ‘New Era,’ the role and visibility of the Chinese Communist Party has been enhanced, while the role of law in limiting public power has been reduced. This seminar draws on examples from Professo Eva Pils engagement with human rights defence in and about China.

27 January 2020, Russell Square: College Buildings, (Kamran) Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT), 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Neoliberalism, Authoritarianism and the Dark Sides of Social Policy in China

Professor Jane Duckett (University of Glasgow)

A strand of work on the politics of social policy internationally has argued that expansions of provision in the period since the global spread of neoliberalism in the 1980s sometimes facilitate neoliberal projects.

13 January 2020, Russell Square: College Buildings, G3, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

How to Be Modern: China's Search for "Good Food"

Dr Joy Zhang (University of Kent)

This seminar investigates the ongoing social negotiation of ‘good food’ in China. It demonstrates how a non-Western society responds to the twin processes of modernisation and globalisation and provides insights on the varieties of modernity in the making.

2 December 2019, Russell Square: College Buildings, G3, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Governance Reform, Social Inequality and the Changing Public Opinion in China

Dr Zhenqing Zheng (Tsinghua University, Beijing)

Since China’s reforms in the 1980’s, bureaucratic changes and market forces have reshapened the general public’s lives and opinions. This seminar examines to what degree, social differences in urban-rural divide, social stratification, distributive fairness perceptions, generational gap and so on have impacted people’s attitudes regarding governance reform and performance in China.

10 June 2019, Paul Webley Wing (Senate House), Wolfson Lecture Theatre (SWLT), 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Disability in China: Citizenship, Identity and Culture

Dr Sarah Dauncey (University of Nottingham)

This event has been cancelled as the speaker Dr Sarah Dauncey has fallen ill. We apologise for the disappointing news.

11 March 2019, Russell Square: College Buildings, G3, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Personal Trust and Stranger Solidarity: Competing Moral Economies of Chinese Organic Farming

Dr Anders Sybrandt Hansen (Aarhus University)

The widespread phenomenon of unsafe food on the Chinese market has been argued to be both symptomatic of moral disregard for the well-being of strangers, and productive of social distrust. In response to the ongoing food safety crisis some agricultural producers have turned to organic farming, and this seminar discusses the moral reasoning of farmers based on ethnographic fieldwork at one such organic farm in northern China.

21 January 2019, Russell Square: College Buildings, G3, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Déjà Vu? Photography as Metaphor: Repurposing Archival Photographs of Mao

Prof. Barbara Mittler (University of Heidelberg)

The anchor for this presentation which stems from a joint research project with the historian of India, Sumathi Ramaswamy, is Gigi Scaria’s six-minute video installation No Parallel (2010).

14 January 2019, Russell Square: College Buildings, G3, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

China, from Present to Past

Professor Valerie Hansen (Yale University)

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has now been cancelled.

12 November 2018, Russell Square: College Buildings, G3, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Women’s Pornographies and Social Activism in Hong Kong

Associate Prof. Katrien Jacobs (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

This talk analyses the views and activities of sex activists and entrepreneurs in Hong Kong and San Francisco, who were interviewed about the topic of queer and feminist pornography and its relationship to social movements.

5 November 2018, Russell Square: College Buildings, G3, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Socialist Feeling

Prof. Stephanie Hemelryk Donald (University of Lincoln & UNSW)
30 April 2018, Russell Square: College Buildings, G3, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

The China Paradox

Dr Paul G. Clifford (President, Paul G. Clifford & Associates)
4 December 2017, Russell Square: College Buildings, G3, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Public Attitudes and Health in China

Professor Jane Duckett, Edward Caird Chair of Politics at the University of Glasgow and Director of the Scottish Centre for China Research
2 March 2015, Russell Square: College Buildings, G3, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Ways of Writing about China for Different Audiences

Isabel Hilton (Chinadialogue) and Professor Jeff Wasserstrom (UC Irvine)
This SOAS China Institute lunchtime seminar brings together two very well-known researchers, writers and commentators on China.20 June 2014, Brunei Gallery, Room B 102, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

June Fourth 1989: An Overview

Prof Michel Hockx (Director, SCI), Dr Andrea Janku (SOAS), Dr Lars Laamann (SOAS) and Dr. Patricia Thorton (University of Oxford)

This SOAS China Institute seminar looks back at the events of Spring 1989: the student demonstrations, the people's movement, and the eventual massacre in the night of 3-4 June. The seminar aims to inform those who are not familiar with the details of the events, as well as encourage discussion. 

2 June 2014, Russell Square: College Buildings, Khalili Lecture Theatre, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Can China Be Governed?

Professor Bruce Dickson (George Washington University)
7 March 2014, Brunei Gallery, B102, 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Unthinking Area Studies

Jing Tsu (Yale)
22 October 2012, Russell Square: College Buildings, G50, 5:15 PM - 7:00 PM

How Confucian is Immanuel Kant?

Professor Chung-ying Cheng (University of Hawaii)

This event has been cancelled.

31 October 2011, Russell Square: College Buildings, G50, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Keynes in Beijing

Dr Andrew Fischer (Institute of Social Studies),
17 January 2011, Russell Square: College Buildings, G50, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Seminar: TBC

Professor Guy Liu (Brunel University)
17 November 2009, Brunei Gallery, B102, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

CCS Seminar - Professor Emeritus Richard John Lynn

Professor Emeritus Richard John Lynn

Straddling the Tradition-Modernity Divide: Huang Zunxian 黃遵憲 (1848-1905) and His Riben zashishi 日本雜事詩 (Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects from Japan) (1877-1882) and Late Qing - Early Meiji Cultural Relations

7 February 2008, Russell Square: College Buildings, G50, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Seminar: BBC and China

Yuwen Wu (BBC Chinese Service)
21 March 2007, , Room 107, University of Westminster, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM