The Revival of Ideologies in Contemporary China --- An Interdisciplinary Call of ‘Bringing Ideology Back In’

The Fourth Oxford Graduate Conference on Contemporary China

The Dickson Poon University of Oxford China Centre and St. Antony’s College, 22-23 May 2015

University of Oxford

Call for Papers – Deadline for Submission: 23 March 2015

The ideological landscape in China has flourished as the regime no longer rests its legitimacy on traditional socialist ideology but rather draws on a variety of ideologies as justificatory strategies. Furthermore, the problems caused by the economic reforms have reignited fierce, ideologically-avowed debates in the Party circles. Intellectuals, interest groups, internet users and citizens also have entered the debate. A vibrant and competitive ideological landscape has gradually developed in the public sphere, consisting of neo-leftism, liberalism, constitutionalism, Confucianism, Republicanism, etc. Despite the revival of ideologies, the study of ideology seems to be on the sidelines of mainstream research of contemporary China. It is also replete with methodological and conceptual challenges that are not yet satisfactorily resolved. 

This conference intends to create a platform for graduate students of humanities, social sciences and area studies to share their views on the study of ideology in contemporary China through their own research. Potential papers may discuss topics such as the origin, development and influence of a particular ideology, the role of ideology in shaping political conflicts and policy debates, and the regime's ability to influence ideological debates. In addition to the presentations on their specific research questions, participants are encouraged to present how their research tackles the methodological and conceptual challenges in the study of ideology.

Building on the success of the three previous graduate conferences, this year’s conference aims to provide another opportunity for graduate students of contemporary China to build up academic networks and foster opportunities for future cooperation. The one-day conference will be held on Saturday, 23 May 2015 at Oxford. On the evening of Friday, 22 May, there will be a specially featured roundtable discussion during which prominent China scholars will offer their thoughts on the theme of the conference. All conference participants are invited to the discussion. Speakers in the previous roundtable discussions included Prof. Patricia Thornton, Prof. Rosemary Foot, Prof. Vivienne Shue, Prof. Jeffrey Wasserstrom, etc.

Submission Deadlines

If you wish to present a paper, please submit your name, affiliation, paper title, an abstract (no more than one page) and a short bio to by 23 March 2015. Panel proposals are not required. Applicants will be notified of a decision by 1 April 2015. The full paper must be submitted by 9 May 2015.


Free conference catering and one-night accommodation, as well as partial subsidies which cover the travel cost to the conference from within the UK may be available to students whose papers are selected for presentation. Applicants are invited to indicate whether they have their own funding. (This is for logistical reasons only. The selection of applicants is purely based on the quality of abstracts.) 

This conference is jointly funded by the Dickson Poon University of Oxford China Centre and the Antonian Fund of St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford.