Seminar and workshop programme 2022–23 Semester 2 (Spring)


All events will be held via Zoom Times are UTC/GMT

For details and links see:

18 January 2023 at 4–5.30pm Seminar [Online]
Title: “Contemporary Chinese Queer Performance.”
Speaker: Dr Hongwei Bao, University of Nottingham

2 February 2023 at 1–2.30pm Seminar [In person/hybrid]
Title: “Policy Change in China: Identifying Driving Forces through Case Studies of Health and Environment”
Speaker: Dr Annemieke vd Dool, Duke Kunshan University
Adam Smith Building 208b and registration at:

15 February 2023 at 4–5.30pm Seminar [In person/hybrid]
Title: “The Chinese Social Credit System as a heterogeneous tool supporting chosen areas of governance.”
Speaker: Emilie Swajnoch, Doctoral candidate, University of Silesia

1 March 2023 at 4–5.30pm Seminar [In person/hybrid]
Title: Chinese Communist Party Finance (tbc)
Speaker: Dr Jerome Doyon, Sciences Po

17 May 2023 at 4–5.30pm Seminar [In person/hybrid]
Title: tbc Speaker: Dr Christopher Weidacher, Swedish Defence Research Agency

The Scottish Centre for China Research Seminar Programme gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the MacFie Bequest.

For enquiries and information, please contact: Professor Jane Duckett (


The Scottish Centre for China Research Seminar Programme gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the MacFie Bequest.
For enquiries and information, please contact: Professor Jane Duckett (

Seminar: ‘Lawmaking in China: The role of societal events’

Dr Annemieke van den Dool, Duke Kunshan University

Wednesday 2 February 2023 at 1–2.30pm

Location: in person, Room 208B, Adam Smith Building, University of Glasgow and online with registration at



Although the literature on agenda setting and policy change is flourishing, it predominantly focuses on democracies. As a result, our understanding of the policy process in autocracies remains limited. In response, this project aims to identify driving forces of policy change in China through qualitative case studies of change national-level laws in the domains of health and environment, including the Food Safety Law, the Infectious Diseases Law, and the Soil Pollution Law. The presentation will zoom in on the latter. Although soil pollution threatened public health and ecosystems for decades in China and although the legislature passed other environmental laws in the 1980s-2000s, this law was not included in the official legislative agenda until 2013 and only passed in 2018. Through qualitative content analysis of a dataset consisting of several hundred Chinese-language policy documents, legislative records, and newsarticles, the case study identifies two forces that contributed to the relative late inclusion of the Soil Pollution Law in the legislative agenda. First of all, soil pollution data was not released until 2013 and was considered a state secret. Secondly, policymakers disagreed about the need for a soil pollution law. This impasse was overcome after top-level political leaders started to pay attention to soil pollution, which happened after the completion of the national soil pollution survey. Based on this and other case studies, the project contributes to identifying features of China and it's political system that shape the policy process. 



Annemieke van den Dool is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy at Duke Kunshan University in China. Her research examines policymaking and implementation in China, especially in the areas of health and environment. Broadly speaking, she studies the driving forces of policy change and stability in China, as well as the content of such policies. Research topics include antimicrobial resistance, health reform, epidemic outbreaks, food safety, crisis management, natural disasters, soil pollution, and environmental accidents. Most of her research focuses on national level policy, especially the process of lawmaking by China’s National People’s Congress. In terms of methods, she uses document analysis, interviews, and surveys.




The Scottish Centre for China Research Seminar Programme gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the MacFie Bequest.

For more details on the SCCR Seminar Series:



Past Events

Seminar: ‘Contemporary Chinese Queer Performance’

Dr Hongwei Bao, University of Nottingham

Wednesday 18 January 2023 at 4–5.30pm

Location: online. Registration at



In this talk, Hongwei Bao will discuss his new book Contemporary Chinese Queer Performance (Routledge, 2022). In this pioneering study of queer performance in China and the Chinese diaspora from 2000 onward, Bao takes readers on an exciting journey to see and experience an eclectic range of spellbound performance: from urban black box theatre to pop-up performance art, from underground photography to choral music, and from feminist activism to queer digital art. Performance serves as a crucial way for LGBTQ people to imagine identity, community and politics. Contemporary Chinese Queer Performance brings together analysis of artworks and interview with cultural producers. It showcases the creativity, imagination and resilience of LGBTQ people in creating queer worlds; it also highlights the pivotal role of performance in global queer culture and activism. Situated in a contemporary, transnational, transcultural and transmedia context, the book demonstrates the productivity of thinking about queer performance out of the Western canon and along with media, technology, culture and politics.



Dr Hongwei Bao is Associate Professor in Media Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK, where he directs the Centre for Contemporary East Asian Cultural Studies. Bao holds a PhD in Gender and Cultural Studies from the University of Sydney, Australia. He is the author of four research monographs on queer Chinese history and culture: Queer Comrades, Queer China, Queer Media in China and Contemporary Chinese Queer Performance. Bao is co-editor of Routledge Handbook for Chinese Gender and Sexuality, Bloomsbury book series Queering China: Transnational Genders and Sexualities, and de Gruyter book series Oyster: Feminist and Queer Approaches to Arts, Cultures and Genders. He also serves on the editorial boards of British Journal of Chinese Studies, Chinese Independent Cinema Observer, Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Political Cinemas book series (Edinburgh University Press) and Queer Asia book series (Hong Kong University Press). He writes and edits a column titled Queer Lens for the Chinese Independent Film Archive.


The Scottish Centre for China Research Seminar Programme gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the MacFie Bequest.

For more details on the SCCR Seminar Series:



7 December 2022 Seminar: ‘Social media and policy making: the influence of netizens on Chinese government policies during the COVID 19 pandemic’

Dr Ana Langer, Dr Hua Wang and Professor Jane Duckett, University of Glasgow

Wednesday 7 December 2022 at 4–5.30pm

Location: in person, Room 139, 25 Bute Gardens, University of Glasgow and online. Registration at:


We still know surprisingly little about when and why governments respond to changes in opinion expressed on social media, and even less about when and why they respond with policy change. This lack of understanding is particularly surprising for authoritarian systems, and especially for China, given the greater attention that has been paid to the potential political effects of social media in autocracies. So far, studies about China have focussed on single cases or events, such as scandals and natural disasters, and on government acknowledgement of online feedback. Although insightful, neither type of study can explain if and why governments do – and sometimes do not – respond to opinion in social media by changing policy. Our paper, based on systematic analysis of comprehensive social media and policy datasets, shows that the public’s opinions expressed on micro-blogging site Sina Weibo influenced both national and local government changes in policies to combat COVID-19. Although the authorities dominated much social media discussion, when netizens focussed on a single issue that was in line with policy priorities, the authorities sometimes responded with narrowly-focussed, low-cost policies that did not require significant intra-bureaucratic coordination. We find that social media discussions can lead to policy change via two routes: when a single post ‘goes viral’, and when many netizens’ posts aggregate over a short period to create a peak of salience. Posts may be more likely to go viral and affect policy if they have video content and are reposted by mainstream media or non-governmental organisations.


Ana Ines Langer is a Senior Lecturer in Political Communication. Her current research focuses on the roles played by different types of media in the policy making process. Her work has focused mostly on the UK but has also done research about Chinese political communication.  

Jane Duckett is Edward Caird Chair of Politics at the University of Glasgow. Her current and recent research has focussed on health policy and politics in China, and her publications include The Chinese State’s Retreat from Health: Policy and the Politics of Retrenchment (2011). 

Hua Wang is a Tutor in Politics and researcher in the Scottish Centre for China Research. Her research focuses on State-business relations and policy process in China.


The Scottish Centre for China Research Seminar Programme gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the MacFie Bequest.

For more details on the SCCR Seminar Series:



23 November 2022 Seminar: ‘Mass mobilisation in China’s counter-terrorism strategy’

Dr Chi Zhang, University of St Andrews

Wednesday 23 November 2022 at 4–5.30pm

Location: in person, Room 139, 25 Bute Gardens, University of Glasgow and online. Registration at:

How has the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sought to legitimise its counter-terrorism strategy in the eyes of its domestic and international audiences? An important element of CCP counter-terrorism policy has been the deployment of ordinary Chinese citizens, or the 'mass line,’ to create new realities on the ground. This presentation will discuss how the history of ideological struggle in the PRC has taken on new characteristics, and offer insight into how the CCP has maintained legitimacy in the eyes of its population, even as it pursues policies which are internationally controversial, shedding light on the past and future of the behaviour of the Chinese state.

Chi Zhang is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of St Andrews, and an Associate Member of the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence. She has published in the journals Terrorism and Political Violence, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Politics and Religion and Asian Security. She is the editor of Human Security in China: A Post-Pandemic State and the author of Legitimacy of China’s Counter-Terrorism Approach: The Mass Line Ethos.

The Scottish Centre for China Research Seminar Programme gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the MacFie Bequest.

For more details on the SCCR Seminar Series:



16 November 2022 Seminar: ‘Mapping Global China’

Dr Ivan Franceschini, Australian National University

1-2:30pm, Wednesday, 16 November 2022

Location: Online. Registration at

Over the past few years, and especially since the inception of the Belt and Road Initiative a decade ago, the idea of a ‘Global China’ has come to dominate international debates in academia and beyond. But what do we refer to when we use such a broad term? Drawing from Ching Kwan Lee’s ground-breaking theorisation and the speaker’s work with The People’s Map of Global China and the Made in China Journal, this talk will outline three different approaches to Chinese international engagements—Global China as policy, power, and method—and propose possible ways to combine them to overcome the limitations of each.

Ivan Franceschini is a Postdoctoral Fellow at The Australian National University. His research mainly focuses on labour issues in China and the social impact of Chinese investment in Southeast Asia—in particular, Cambodia. He is the founder and co-editor of the Made in China Journal and The People’s Map of Global China / Global China Pulse, as well as the managing editor of The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus. His latest publications include the co-edited volumes Xinjiang Year Zero (ANU Press, 2022) and Proletarian China: A Century of Chinese Labour (Verso Books, 2022), as well as the co-authored book Global China as Method (Cambridge University Press, 2022),  He co-directed the documentaries Dreamwork China (2011) and Boramey: Ghosts in the Factory (2021).

The Scottish Centre for China Research Seminar Programme gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the MacFie Bequest.

For more details on the SCCR Seminar Series:



2 November 2022 Seminar: ‘Russia's War on Ukraine and the Sino-Russian Strategic Partnership’

Dr Marcin Kaczmarski, Dr Joanna Szostek and Dr Neil Munro

4-5:30pm, Wednesday, 2 November 2022

Location: In person, Room 139, 25 Bute Gardens, University of Glasgow and online with registration at:

Russia’s war on Ukraine has put the rules-based international order under new strain and further heightened tensions between the West and Russia’s “strategic partner,” China. Contrary to the declaration that there are “no limits” for the relationship adopted by both sides during Vladimir Putin's visit to Beijing on 4 February, the war demonstrated clear limitations to cooperation between the two authoritarian giants. Beijing has mirrored Russian rhetoric and blamed the West for the conflict, thus offering political support. A practical dimension of China’s support has, however, been missing.

In this public seminar, three Glasgow scholars discuss respectively, the implications of the war for Sino-Russian relations, perception of China’s role in the war in Ukraine itself (in contrast to perceptions in Russia) and China’s strategic narrative about the war as conveyed by official sources.

Dr Marcin Kaczmarski is Lecturer in Security Studies in the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow. In his research, Marcin focuses on Russia-China relations, Russia’s foreign policy, great-power regionalism and the role of domestic politics in foreign policy. He is the author of Russia-China relations in the post-crisis international order (Routledge 2015)  Prior to joining the University of Glasgow, Marcin combined research and teaching at the University of Warsaw with policy-oriented analysis for the Finnish Institute of International Affairs in Helsinki and the Centre for Eastern Studies in Warsaw.

Dr Joanna Szostek is a lecturer in political communication at the University of Glasgow, and an associate fellow with the Chatham House Russia and Eurasia Programme. Her research focuses on the media’s role in relations between states, with recent projects investigating the reception of narratives in Ukraine and Russia. She holds a doctorate in Politics from the University of Oxford and her professional experience includes many years of living and working in Russia and Ukraine.

Dr Neil Munro is Senior Lecturer in Chinese Politics at the University of Glasgow. He has a comparative interest in participation in governance in post-communist and developing societies and has published on a wide range of themes ranging from acceptance of bureaucratic norms through national identity, participation, regime legitimacy and social cohesion. He holds a BA (combined honours) in Chinese and Russian from the University of Queensland and a PhD in public policy from University of Strathclyde. In a previous phase of his career, he specialised in the study of public opinion in Russia, Ukraine and other parts of Central and Eastern Europe.

The Scottish Centre for China Research Seminar Programme gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the MacFie Bequest.

For more details on the SCCR Seminar Series:



26 October 2022 Seminar: ‘The 20th Party Congress Beyond the Personnel Changes’

Dr Holly Snape*, Professor Jane Duckett*, Professor Patricia Thornton**, Professor Jinghan Zeng***, Dr Mike Gow****

*University of Glasgow; ** University of Oxford, ***Lancaster University, ****Edge Hill Business School

4pm–5.30pm Wednesday, 26 October 2022


The seminar will be online via Zoom, with registration at:

At the 20th Congress, Xi Jinping delivered a potted version of the all-important political report. At 3am U.K. time, confusion ensued as analysts watching from afar awaited confirmation of rumours from journalists at the Great Hall of the People: was there really a longer report? As the drama settled—it turned out there is a longer written report—many initial analyses had already gone to press, based on the heavily trimmed version.

This public seminar will spotlight that all-important political report to the Congress, and the Charter amendments that followed. It will bring together five scholars based in the U.K. whose research focuses on difference aspects of Chinese politics and policy to discuss these key documents from the Congress.

Jane Duckett is Edward Caird Chair of Politics at the University of Glasgow and Director of the Scottish Centre for China Research. Her research has focussed on China’s health and social policies as well as on Chinese local government. She has published papers in a wide range of journals, including World Development, The China Quarterly, Modern China, and the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. Her books include China’s Changing Welfare Mix (2010, edited with Beatriz Carrillo), and The Chinese State’s Retreat from Health (2011).

Patricia M. Thornton is Associate Professor of Chinese Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR), University of Oxford, and Tutor in the Politics of China at Merton College. She is the author of Disciplining the State: Virtue, Violence, and State-Making in Modern China (Harvard University Press, 2007), and co-edited Red Shadows: Memories and Legacies of the Chinese Cultural Revolution (Cambridge, 2017) as well as To Govern China: Evolving Practices of Power (Cambridge, 2017). She has published numerous articles, and formerly served as acting Editor in Chief of The China Quarterly.

Jinghan Zeng is Professor of China and International Studies at Lancaster University. He is the author of Artificial Intelligence with Chinese Characteristics: National Strategy, Security and Authoritarian Governance (2022), Slogan Politics: Understanding Chinese Foreign Policy Concepts (2020) and The Chinese Communist Party's Capacity to Rule: Ideology, Legitimacy and Party Cohesion (2015). He is also the co-editor of One Belt, One Road, One Story? Towards an EU-China Strategic Narrative (2021).

Mike Gow is Lecturer in Business and Management at Edge Hill Business School. Mike's research focuses on contemporary China, exploring the role of consumerism and industry in state-building projects - with a focus on developments in the 21st century.  His research aims to understand the mobilization of the private sector in relation to superstructural reform; the role consumerism plays in both reproducing and transforming contemporary Chinese society; how the state, civil society and the private sector combine to "create" citizens in Xi Jinping's New Era. 

Holly Snape is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Glasgow and Editor-in-Chief of Chinese Law and Government. Her current research explores the Chinese Party-state relationship and the interplay between Party, state and society. She is also interested in civil society and political discourse.

The Scottish Centre for China Research Seminar Programme gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the MacFie Bequest.

For more details on the SCCR Seminar Series:



13 October 2022 Seminar: ‘"Chinese” Studies for the Twenty-first Century’

Professor Gregory Lee, University of St Andrews

4pm–5.30pm Thursday, 13 October 2022

Location: Room 139, 29 Bute Gardens, University of Glasgow

The seminar will also be online via Zoom, with registration at:


The twentieth-century saw major shifts in the way China and "things Chinese" were studied in universities.  While old-fashioned sinology continued to be dominant, the post-1940s Cold War was accompanied by the innovation that was "area studies" which in the China field saw the social sciences take centre stage. However, in the literary and cultural field change was slow to arrive with China's twentieth-century literature and culture considered a poor relative next to the sinological canon.

Now, in the twenty-first century what shape should academic studies related to China, Chinese, and Chineseness be taking? How should Scotland's and the rest of the UK's historical vision of, and relationship with, "China" and "Chinese" people be accounted for and represented? How should the vast diversity that is China and the rest of the Chinese-speaking world be broached without creating new and fixed "objects" of study?

About the speaker

As an author, broadcaster and academic, Gregory Lee has been writing and talking about China and "Chinatowns" for the past forty years. He is Founding Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of St Andrews, Scotland.  He has lived and worked in France, the USA, mainland China, and Hong Kong. His most recent books are China Imagined: From European Fantasy to Spectacular Power (Hurst, 2018) and the dual-language biographical fiction第八位中國商人與消失嘅海員/The Eighth Chinese Merchant and the Disappeared Seamen (Typesetter Press, Hong Kong, 2022).

The Scottish Centre for China Research Seminar Programme gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the MacFie Bequest.

For more details on the SCCR Seminar Series:



16 March 2022 Seminar: Creating the Opium War: British imperial attitudes towards China, 1792-1840

Dr Gao Hao, University of Exeter. 

Title: ‘Creating the Opium War: British Imperial Attitudes towards China, 1792-1840.’ 

16 march 2022 at 4–5.30pm (by zoom, registration required


This talk examines British perceptions of and attitudes towards China during their encounters from the Macartney embassy to the outbreak of the Opium War, based on Dr Gao's recently published monograph Creating the Opium War: British Impeiral Attitudes towards China, 1792-1840. The book makes the first attempt to bring together the political history of Sino-Western relations and cultural studies of British representations of china, as a new way of connecting 'top-down' international history with 'bottom-up' global history. it adds a new dimension to explain the origins of the Opium War, which arguably reshaped Sino-Western relations in the modern age. 

Dr Hao Gao is Senior Lecturer in imperial and global history at the University of Exeter. He is a historian of British imperialism in asia, China in global history, particularly the encounters between the British and the Chinese empires in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Dr Gao is the author of Creating the Opium War (MUP, 2020) and various research articles in both English and Chinese journals, including History, Historical Research, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, and Britain and the World. He currently serves as the university's Academic Director for the UK-China Humanities Alliance (ukcha), with Exeter as the lead university on the UK side.