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China and the World Seminar Series

This monthly seminar series brings together leading academics to discuss issues of public policy research across China and other countries


The China and the World Seminar Series will resume in the upcoming academic year of 2024/25, featuring a lineup of exciting speakers who will share their latest research and insights on "China and the World"—watch this space.

Past Seminars


China and the World Hyun Shin

Fast-tracked city unbound? Speed, scale, and risk in China’s overseas investment

Thursday 14 March 2024 

12.30pm-2.00pm GMT 

Fast urbanism has been one of the key aspirational characteristics of contemporary China. Speedy construction and economy of scale have enabled the rapid process of urbanisation in China. In recent years, real estate developers, who facilitated urban accumulation, have also attempted to advance into overseas markets, including London, which is the main case study for this paper. How do the experiences of speedy and large-scale urban development in China translate to overseas destinations? What risk aversion strategies do they adopt? What does this tell us about the nature and agents of capital? To address these questions, this talk engages with an in-depth empirical study of an urban redevelopment project in East London that involved a Chinese developer. By evaluating the business practices of the Chinese developer in London and tracing such practices back to China, this talk aims to shed light on the nature of urban manifestations of global China and the meaning of ‘ethnic capital’.

Speaker: Professor Hyun Bang Shin (Department of Geography and Environment, LSE)

Chair: Dr Timothy Hildebrandt (Department of Social Policy, LSE) 

Venue: CBG.1.05 (1st floor), Centre Building, LSE

Lunch and refreshments will be served before the seminar. 

This seminar is open to LSE staff and students only.


China and the World Feb 24

New Thinking on Rural Development in China

Tuesday 13 February 2024

12.30pm-2.00pm GMT 

The talk will present China’s ongoing rural revitalisation program through different cases. The speaker has been working on rural development programs in Yunnan, China since 2015. Faced with challenges of rural-urban disparity and rural decline, it is critical to explore new development approach by adopting rural-urban parallel rather than sequential transformation. Rural revitalisation program is not simply increasing investment but focusing on regenerating new rural economy appropriate for small-holder farmers’ development. The speaker argues that in the past two decades, the development process from poverty reduction to rural revitalisation in rural China has produced a new development narrative. But it has been largely ignored by the development community.

Speaker: Professor Xiaoyun Li (China Agricultural University).

Chair: Professor James Putzel (Department of International Development).

Venue: CKK.1.07 (1st floor), Cheng Kin Ku Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE

Lunch and refreshments will be served before the seminar. 

This seminar is open to LSE staff and students only.

Watch the video here. Listen to the podcast here



The Evolution of China's Development Cooperation

Thursday 25 January 2024

12.30pm-2.00pm GMT 

The talk will review three changes that drives the transition of China’s international development cooperation system: narrative change, institutional change, and strategic change. It will then analyze the recent trends of development finance between China and OECD DAC countries. It argues that, despite some conceptual and structural differences, China and DAC countries demonstrate similar patterns of development finance in aligning development and foreign policy goals.

Speaker: Professor Yu Zheng (Fudan University).

Chair: Professor Bingchun Meng (Director of the LSE-Fudan Global Policy Hub).

Venue: CBG.1.05 (1st floor), Centre Building, LSE 

This seminar is open to LSE staff and students only.

Watch the video here. Listen to the podcast here


China and the world seminar series_Dec

The Role of Institutions in Urban Climate Governance: Learnings From the Global South

Wednesday 6 December 2023

1:00pm-2.00pm GMT (online, please note the event has been moved online due to rail strikes)

Within the ecosystem of urban climate governance, Dr Deshpande seeks to understand the role of local institutions in pursuing urban climate policy or action in the Global South. Countries in the Global South are experiencing rapid urbanization and the city or municipal governments, operating under weak or under-developed governance structures, are struggling to meet the needs of a growing urban population. Under such circumstances it seems unlikely that these local institutions would possess the capacity to pursue urban climate action or policy. The aim of Dr Deshpande's research is to unpack urban climate policymaking and understand the role of local institutions in this process.  

Speaker: Dr Tanvi Deshpande (Research Fellow, LSE-Fudan Global Public Policy Hub).

Chair: Professor Bingchun Meng (Co-Director of the LSE-Fudan Research Centre for Global Public Policy and the LSE-Fudan Global Policy Hub).

Watch the video here. Listen to the podcast here


Tea Plantation Outside Nyungwe_square

Property Institutions and State Capacity: A Comparative Analysis of Chinese Agricultural Projects in Zambia

Thursday 26 October 2023

12:30pm-2.00pm GMT 

 A long-standing literature argues that African states have weak capacity, especially in regulating its land. Increasingly, scholarly work on foreign land acquisition in developing countries recognizes the ‘active state’ explanations that the African states and subnational actors have played an important and diverse role in (re)structuring access and control over land and natural resources. In this talk Dr Yang will contribute to this scholarship by focusing on the role of African property institutions and propose a theory of how land tenure regimes structure the processes of investment, including land acquisition and continued control over land after acquired. 

Speaker: Dr Yuezhou Yang  (Research Fellow, LSE-Fudan Global Public Policy Hub).

Chair: Professor Bingchun Meng (Director of the LSE-Fudan Global Policy Hub).

Venue: The Sumeet Valrani theatre, Centre Building, LSE

Lunch and refreshments will be served before the seminar. 

This seminar is open to LSE staff and students only.



MicrosoftTeams-image (4)

Communication, Culture and Rural Revitalization in China

Thursday 4 May 2023

12:30pm-1:00pm FREE lunch, 1:00pm-2:00pm seminar

PODCAST available here.

Drawing upon extensive fieldwork and nearly ten years of participatory action research in Jinyun County, Zhejiang Province, this talk explores the role of communication and culture in Xi-era China’s drive to revitalize the countryside after decades of GDP-driven, uneven, and urban-centric development. China’s cutting-edge modern communication infrastructures and deep-rooted agrarian traditions serve as revealing sites for analyzing the possibilities and limits of the Chinese state’s rural revitalization strategy, while Zhejiang as the party-state’s chosen demonstration zone for achieving modernization and common prosperity offers a unique vantage point for a critical examination of the place of the rural in China’s overall developmental trajectory.   

Speaker: Professor Yuezhi Zhao (Simon Fraser University, Canada and Tsinghua University, China).

Chair: Professor Bingchun Meng (Co-Director of LSE-Fudan Public Policy Centre, Director of LSE PhD Academy).

Venue: CBG 2.06 



Autocratic China: Ideology, Bureaucracy and Repression

Monday 6 March 2023

12:30pm-1:00pm lunch, 1:00pm-2:00pm seminar

 Join us for free lunch and discussion on the origins of China's autocratic regime. Dr Xue will consider the nature of autocratic rule in China with a particular focus on the Qing dynasty and the use of persecution to suppress potential dissent. The talk will discuss the imperial examination system and the constrains autocrats faced in using this system to select bureaucrats. Finally, the speaker will touch on the role of ideas and how these can be used to legitimate autocratic rule.

Speaker: Professor Dr Melanie Xue (LSE Economic History).

Chair: Dr Timothy Hildebrandt (LSE-Fudan Hub Council Member).

Venue: NAB 8.02 or Zoom livestream. 



Social Policy Development in the Post-COVID Age in China and BRICS Countries: Challenges and Opportunities

Wednesday 8 February 2023, 1:00pm-2:00pm

Based on the speakers’ research on social policy developments in China and BRICS countries before and during the pandemic, especially in the fields of education and health policies, this seminar will be devoted to discussing the challenges and opportunities as these countries move to “build back better” in the post-COVID age.

Speaker: Dr Yifei Yan (Southampton University).

Chair: Dr Yuxi Zhang (School of Public Policy).

Listen to the podcast here.

This seminar is co-hosted with the Global Health Initiative .


busy street

Civic Engagement, Volunteerism and Philanthropy in Contemporary China and Beyond

Thursday 8 December 2022, 1:00pm-2:00pm

In this conversation, Profs Hasmath and Hildebrandt will explore the relationship between volunteerism, philanthropy, and civic engagement in contemporary China. They will discuss the new forms of citizen-led initiatives that are complementary to, or supplanting, state-led ones.

Speaker: Dr Reza Hasmath (University of Alberta).

Chair: Dr Timothy Hildebrandt (Department of Social Policy).

Listen to the podcast here.



Researching Public Opinion in China

Thursday 10 November 2022, 1:00pm-2:00pm

In this research dialogue session, Dr Blake Miller and Professor Bingchun Meng will discuss their research on mediated political communication in the Chinese context and exchange opinions about some of the common methodological and conceptual issues that cut across their respective fields.

Listen to the podcast here