Conversation II: How Communist is the People’s Republic of China?

Start date: Thursday, 13 May, 17:00
End date: Thursday, 13 May, 18:00
Venue: Online

Oxford China Conversations

To attend this event (via Zoom), please register here

This Trinity Term we will be inviting scholars at the University of Oxford and beyond to engage in discussions of key questions within the study of Chinese politics, history, and contemporary society. Each session will feature three world-renowned experts offering their views on a select question, moderated by a faculty member of the University of Oxford China Centre. Our goal is to foster conversation and debate that will be of interest to specialists while remaining accessible to a broad public audience. Sessions will last one hour, with the first forty-five minutes consisting of a moderated discussion between the invited speakers, and the last quarter hour offering audience participants the opportunity to submit questions to be asked by the moderator. We will be using the Zoom webinar format, and the first forty-five minutes will also be recorded to be made available online for public viewing subsequently. The Oxford China Centre Conversations are an initiative of the Oxford China Centre Seminar Series, co-run by the Faculty of Oriental Studies and the Oxford School for Global and Area Studies and hosted by the University of Oxford China Centre.

Conversation II

‘How Communist Is the People’s Republic of China?’

Professor Patricia Thornton (Chair, Oxford), Professor Daniel Koss (Harvard University), Professor Joseph Fewsmith (Boston University), Professor Rebecca Karl (NYU)

Patricia M. Thornton (Chair) is an associate professor in the University of Oxford’s Department of Politics and International Relations, and a Fellow of Merton College. She is the author of numerous articles in scholarly journals, and is currently editing a special issue of The China Quarterly forthcoming this autumn to mark the CCP’s centenary. Her recent publications include (with Vivienne Shue) To Govern China: Evolving Practices of Power (Cambridge, 2017); (with Chris Berry and Sun Peidong) Red Shadows: Memories and Legacies of the Chinese Cultural Revolution (Cambridge, 2017); and Disciplining the State: Virtue, Violence and State-Making in Modern China (Harvard, 2007).

Joseph Fewsmith is Professor of International Relations and Political Science at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies. He is the author or editor of eight books, including, Rethinking Chinese Politics, to be published in July 2021. For eleven years, he was one of seven regular contributors to the China Leadership Monitor, a quarterly web publication analysing current developments in China. His articles have appeared in such leading journals as The China Quarterly and The Journal of Contemporary China. He is currently working on a new book, called Forging Leninism in China, which is a re-examination of the Communist movement in Jiangxi in the late 1920s and early 1930s. He is an associate of the John King Fairbank Center for East Asian Studies at Harvard University.

Rebecca Karl teaches history at NYU-NY. She is author, most recently, of China’s Revolutions in the Modern World: A Brief Interpretive History (Verso 2020). Her previous books include The Magic of Concepts: History and the Economic in Twentieth-Century China (Duke UP 2017), Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World: A Concise History (Duke UP 2010), among others. She is co-editor/co-translator with Lydia Liu and Dorothy Ko of The Birth of Chinese Feminism: Essential Texts in Transnational Theory (Columbia 2013). As a founding editor of and founding member of Critical China Scholars, she works with scholars and activists across many fields to create spaces for leftist analysis of China and Asia.

Daniel Koss is a research scholar and lecturer at Harvard’s Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations. He works on political parties and their history, with regional expertise in East Asia. His first book was published in 2018 and is entitled Where the Party Rules: The Rank and File of China’s Communist State. It investigates the multiple functions of political parties under authoritarian regimes, through the case of China’s Communist Party, by focusing on the party’s grassroots-level, and approaching contemporary outcomes from a historical perspective. Koss has spent several years in East Asia, for field research in China and Japan, and as an Assistant Research Fellow with the Institute of Political Science at Academia Sinica in Taipei. He holds a PhD from Harvard’s Department of Government.