SAIS China Research Center (SCRC)
Whether we see it as a partner or as a threat, understanding China is the through-line to global order and stability.
The SAIS China Research Center’s mandate is to strengthen our knowledge of contemporary China – not in spite, but because of – the challenges embedded in this complicated but vital relationship. At the SCRC, we don’t simply study China, we study how to study China. Our aim is to reimagine and refashion current approaches to understanding China and offer an array of alternative approaches to inform China scholarship, the policy process, and general interest among non-specialists.
The SCRC’s approach extends beyond disciplinary boundaries and dominant policy narratives. Our frame of reference is the Chinese state, a complex, globally connected country with multiple, often-competing elite interests, organizational missions, and vast regional differences. Understanding China requires exploring the significant contending power centers within dozens of functional bureaucracies and at tens of thousands of subnational administrative levels, and a Chinese Communist Party that is evolving in its relationship to the Chinese state and to Chinese society. Only an approach in which we privilege institutional structures, incentives facing leaders throughout the system, and shared cultural-historical frameworks matter can we make sense of the economic and strategic concerns that dominate the policy world and the Academy.
The goal of the SCRC is to champion both rigorous scholarly research as well as active engagement with the key academics, policy practitioners, governments officials, and business and community leaders. Drawing from the rich history of China Studies at SAIS, we are the premier, intellectually rigorous resource platform for the China community in Washington, DC and around the world.