Studying China from Elsewhere

For the past decade or so, access to officials, academics, and documents in China have been increasingly difficult. This is a particular challenge for younger cohorts of scholars. In this lecture series, we feature scholars who have been able to overcome such challenges by studying China from a physical location outside of the PRC. This series provides some ideas, approaches, and research strategies that help mitigate the current challenges faced by field-intensive China scholars.

In this series, we look at the PRC as a comparative case vis-à-vis Taiwan and the United States (Lewis) and Indonesia (Hurst), as well as a dynamic partner from the perspective of target countries, in Southeast Asia (Lampton) and Africa (Repnikova). We suggest ways in which we can better use inferences and the comparative method to not simply maintain our understanding of China but to actually enhance it by deploying new approaches that make virtue out of necessity.