Chinese Studies

Research projects of the School of Asian Studies.

Reasoning using anecdotes

Duration: 3 years
Nature: NWO Veni
Project leader: Paul van Els

Abstract: Thinkers in Ancient China who wanted to influence those in power, often referred to events from the past. Historic anecdotes were consequently remarkably important in political-philosophical argumentation. This research studies the rhetorical function and cultural significance of such anecdotes. 

Asiascape – Contemporary East Asia Media Centre

Duration: 3 years
Nature: NWO (Internationalization) and IIAS and Toshiba International Foundation
Project members: Chris Goto-Jones, Ivo Smits, Kasia Cwiertka (Leiden); Thomas Lamarre (McGill); Susan Napier (Tufts); Lockyer (SOAS); Williams (Leeds); Takayuki (Keio)

 This project aims to create a research hub for the study of East Asian technoculture, particularly with a focus on politics and philosophy.  It is explicitly engaged in building an international network to organise this new field and to place Leiden at its hub.

Modern East Asia Research Centre (MEARC)

Duration: 3 years initially (2006-2008) - extended till at least end 2009
Nature: LU Board of Directors through Faculty of Humanities
Project leader: Goto-Jones ( Leiden), A. Schneider (Leiden)

Abstract: The aim of MEARC is to become the European hub of genuinely disciplinary and multi-disciplinary research on East Asia, in order to build bridges between the so-called ‘Area Studies’ and conventional disciplines such as Politics, History and Philosophy. It will achieve this through (support of) lectures, workshops, conferences, and publication of peer-reviewed books and articles and by the provision of research grants.

Taiwan in Comparative East Asian Perspective

Duration: 3 years (2007-2009)
Nature: BICER, Ministry of Education, Taiwan
Project leader: MEARC directors (Goto-Jones & Schneider)

Abstract: This project, linked directly to MEARC, is designed to support, showcase and stimulate comparative research in the disciplines of politics, history and philosophy on Taiwan since the beginning of the nineteenth century till today.

Historical Consciousness and the Future of Modern China and Japan: Conservatism, Revisionism, and National Identity

Duration: ~2009
Nature: NWO Vici
Project leader: Axel Schneider and Rikki Kersten
Project members: The principal researchers are Prof. dr. Rikki Kersten and Prof. dr. Axel Schneider. They lead a team of comparative scholars, including three Ph.D candidates and two postdoctoral researchers

Abstract: This project seeks to deliver a study of the conservative and revisionist reinterpretation of tradition and its impact on the creation of national and political identity in modern China and Japan. It is a comparative study, and as such, one that promises to enhance our knowledge not only of historical thought and ideas about history in these two countries, but also, how thinking in each country about the past has influenced that phenomenon in the other country. The main outcome will be a monograph on Historical Consciousness in Modern China and Japan, co-authored by the principle researchers. In addition to the workshop and conference proceedings, there will be three PhDs (from the AIOs) and two draft monographs (from the Postdocs). The most exciting outcome will be the development of a cohort of comparative scholars, who are able to engage in the comparative study of modern China and modern Japan.

Culture, Identity, and History: The Critical Review and Conservatism in Modern China, 1922-1933

Nature: NWO Bezoekersbeurs
Project leader: Axel Schneider
Project members: Kuo Ya-pei (affiliated with IIAS)

The Political Economy of Rent Seeking and Economic Privilege in China

Duration: 3 years, since 1 March 2006 (still ongoing due to some delays because of the Sichuan earthquake and Beijing olympics)
Nature: KNAW China Exchange Programme
Project leader: Tak-Wing Ngo  (also member of the "KNAW Coordinating Committee for Scientific and Educational Exchanges with China" since 2004; and a member of the Scientific Evaluation Committee of NWO-KNAW CO-REACH (Social Science Collaborative Research Programme between Europe and China) programme)
Project members: Yi-wen Cheng, Song Chunli (Dutch members); Wu Yongping (Chinese leader), Yin Cunyi, Chen Yilin, Jin Biao, Zhang Lin (Chinese members)

Abstract: The project seeks to study rent seeking practices in present day China. We ask what kinds of institutional and structural factors that create rent and thereafter give rise to widespread rent seeking. We hypothesise that rent seeking is shaped by state configuration, government-business relations, industrial structure, and social ordering of exchange. Five industries are selected in several localities for comparison purpose. This is the first cross-industry study undertaken to categorise the socio-political parameters which determine rent seeking practices in China.

Comparative research on Regulatory law Enforcement in China and the EU

Duration: 2009-2011
Nature: NWO/KNAW EU Co-Reach Programme
Project leader: Benjamin van Rooij (Leiden), Zhou Hanhua (CASS, Bridget Hutter (LSE)
Project members: Benjamin van Rooij (Leiden), Zhou Hanhua (CASS, Bridget Hutter (LSE)

Abstract: The research will focus on a comparative analysis of regulatory enforcement in China, the Netherlands and the UK. It aims to understand two questions: 1 How can European theories and experiences with regulatory law enforcement be adapted and used to contribute to analyze and improve regulatory law enforcement in China? 2 What are the implications of Chinese experiences with regulatory enforcement for current regulatory theory that is largely based on Western case studies?

Citizens’ Perceptions of Rural Industrial Pollution and Its Effects on Health

Duration: 2009
Nature: US Social Science Research Council
Project leader: Zhang Yiyun (YDRA)
Project members: Anna Lora Wainwright ( Oxford), Wang Qiliang (Yunnan University) Benjamin van Rooij (Leiden)

Abstract: This project examines how rural citizens’ perceptions of the effects of industrial pollution on their health affect their responses to such pollution. The study is carried out through fieldwork in rural Yunnan continuing earlier work there on state pollution enforcement.

Chinese Views of Europe

Duration: March 2009 - February 2012
Nature: 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission (FP-7)
Project members: Principle Investigator: Zhengxu Wang (University of Nottingham); Co-PIs: Daniela Stockmann, (Department of Political Science, Leiden), Christian Welzel (Jakobs University Bremen), Lisheng Dong (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences), Long Sun (Renmin University of China), Gareth Price (The Royal Institute of International Affairs).

Abstract: In 2007, China overtook Germany as the world’s largest exporter. Its trade surplus with the EU is rising at $20 million an hour. China makes up one-third of the annual increase in world oil demand, and emits the most greenhouse gases. Engaging a rapidly rising China is a great challenge for the EU. To do this more effectively, the EU needs a comprehensive understanding of China, especially of how the EU and its China initiatives and strategies are perceived in China itself. Through surveys, interviews, and focus groups, this study looks into how the EU is perceived by the Chinese general public, government officials, intellectuals, business and civil society. It will produce a comprehensive picture of how Chinese people see the EU: how China views its opportunities and challenges in dealing with the EU, how different government agencies view the EU, how government views differ from those of business and civil society, and how opinion in Beijing differs from that in the provinces.

Advertising Politics: Rationales, Content, and Effects of Public Service Advertising in the Chinese Media

Duration: July 2008 - June 2011
Nature: KNAW joint research project, China Exchange Programme"
Project members: Daniela Stockmann (Department of Political Science, Leiden), Liu Linqing (Advertising School, Communication University of China, Zhang Jie (Center for Strategic Research, Communication University of China); application in progress to add the following researchers: Stefan Landsberger (Sinological Institute, Leiden), Ashley Esarey (Fairbank Center, Harvard University).

Abstract: Public service advertising did not exist in China until only recently. During the reform era the Chinese state has modernized the way in which politics is communicated to citizens. Today, the government focuses on public service advertising on television to actively shape people‘s attitudes and behavior on such issues as environmental protection and legal reform. More broadly, public service advertising is aimed at holding an increasingly diverse and fragmented society together. This joint research project relies on multiple methods to study the policy rationale behind public service advertising, its production and content, as well as its societal effects.  As the first systematic study of the trend towards public service advertising in the Chinese media this research contributes to our understanding of the relationship between the Chinese state and society and has practical implications for its further development in China.

Drawing Modernity: the Role of French Academic Training and the Parisian Experience in the Practice of Chinese Modern Painting

Duration: 2009-2010
Nature: Hulséwe-Wazsnieski Foundation
Project members: Francesca Dal Lago

Abstract: The project focuses on the completion of a manuscript resulting from previous research. The manuscript researches the conditions and processes that allowed Academic Realism and Western style painting, particularly oil painting, to be introduced to China during the early decades of the 20th century. It discusses the major centers of artistic education (Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing) and their connections with Paris through the figures of several major artists and art educators. More specifically, the project analyses the intellectual conditions that generated the need and facilitated the possibilty for realist painting practice to be adopted as a major constitutent of the modern  curriculum of Chinese artistic education.

The Performance of Identity in Chinese Popular Music

Duration: 2005-2009
Nature: Hulsewé-Wazniewski Foundation
Project leader: Maghiel van Crevel
Project members: Jeroen Groenewegen

Abstract: Investigation of the performance of identity in contemporary Cantonese and Mandarin pop, sinified rock and Chinese urban folk music.

Wandering Saints: Chan Eccentrics in the Art of the Song and Yuan China

Duration: 2004-2009
Nature: NWO Mozaïek PhD grant
Project leader: Oliver Moore and Maghiel van Crevel
Project members: Paramita Paul

Abstract: An investigation of visual portraiture and other art forms in Chan (Zen) Buddhism, with reference to the broader discourse on Chinese figure painting and Chinese art and visual culture in general.

Elites and their children. A study in the historical anthropology of medieval China, 500-1000 AD.

Duration: 2004-2009
Nature: Chiang-ching Kuo Foundation, Center of Chinese Studies
Project leader: Barend ter Haar and Oliver Moore
Project members: Annika Pissin

Abstract: An analysis of children's life in as it was depicted by male elite authors between 500 and 1000 AD in China.

Last Modified: 09-12-2015