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Advances in Chinese Social Sciences

In China, there is a vigorous and exciting debate in the social sciences, fuelled by the extreme experiences of modernization after 1949. However, the pertinent debates still remain unaccessible, and, hence, even unknown to scholars in the West, in particular those working outside the field of Chinese studies and who are not capable to read Chinese.

As a follow-up to an earlier project (the "Chinese Social Sciences Yearbook 1998", also accessible here) we set up this website publishing contributions by Chinese social scientists in English language, thereby improving access to their thought and to their current debates. Although there is a large and growing community of Chinese scholars working outside of China, in most cases they have to adapt to Western academic standards in form and content, very often focusing on matters non-Chinese. To the contrary, the inner-Chinese debates are much more driven by the deep "lebensweltliche" "living-world" experience of becoming another society, literally, when "touching the stones of the river".
Our criteria for including papers adopt the native perspective, that is, we do not apply yardsticks inherent to the Western debate. The papers in both the Yearbook and our collection has been selected by a Chinese board of advisors. Our definition of "social science" is a broad one, reaching from philosophy, to law and politics, and we are oriented toward contributions that add substance to the analysis of Chinese modernization as one current in the changing world of today. We believe that theory development in the social sciences is at least partly contingent within historical and societal contexts. Therefore, we follow a glocalized approach toward theory development, meaning that the diversity of cultures is explicitely regarded as a trigger of theoretical innovation. This website will provide the playing ground for new ideas originating within the Chinese context.

For our material, please visit the sections "Chinese Social Sciences Yearbook" and "Collection of papers".

In this project, we cooperate with the Unirule Institute, Beijing, and their excellent Website China-Review. We invite Chinese scholars all over the world to contribute to our project.

One of these friends is Wang Dingding, a leading mind in Chinese social sciences. Here we offer his views on the mission of social sciences in China: Download

We will select working papers for publication on this homepage (in a special section "working papers"). If you wish to submit a paper in English, please contact the editor of this homepage, Professor Carsten Herrmann-Pillath:
E-Mail (chepiwe dont want spam@no

We are grateful to financial support by Robert Bosch Foundation.

The project has been realized together with one of China's leading thinkers in economics and social change, Professor Mao Yushi.

To him we dedicate this website.

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