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Academic Conferences

The center hosts academic conferences where scholars meet to discuss their research and exchange ideas about future research collaboration. These conferences are closed to the public.

Young Scholars Conference 2023Upcoming

2024 Young Scholars Conference
May 6-7, 2024 | UC San Diego

Theme: China’s Social Challenges and Legal Landscape

The Fudan-UC Center on Contemporary China, together with the 21st Century China Center and the Carter Center, is convening an academic conference on “China’s Social Challenges and Legal Landscape.” The conference will bring together young scholars studying social dynamics in contemporary China and the legal system’s responses. The papers will receive suggestions from more senior scholars in the field during the conference.

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We are soliciting papers from young scholars, including faculty and graduate students, based on the theme and quality of their research. Research on social dynamics could include such themes as, but not limited to, gender, inequality/poverty, the environment, and privacy. For this year’s theme, we are interested in original research either on these social dynamics or on national/transnational legal institutions and communities that address challenges arising from these dynamics. We encourage submissions of papers both on the domestic and international aspects of these issues.

The conference will also convene 1-2 panels that will focus on research related to U.S.-China relations, particularly on how domestic laws in the U.S. and China are impacting bilateral relations.

Applicants should attach PDFs of their abstract, brief cover letter, and CV to the form found on this link as described in greater detail on the PDF linked below.

Applications must be submitted by Jan. 15, 2024. Selected participants will be informed by no later than Feb. 5, and completed papers should be sent to the conference organizers by May 1.

International applicants needing a visa may request review of their submissions earlier so that, if selected, they have sufficient time for visa applications and travel preparations.

Email any questions to Harris Doshay at

Download the Call for Paper (PDF)

Past Conferences


2023 Young Scholars Conference
August 29-30, 2023 | UC San Diego

Theme: Chinese State and Society in the Time of COVID 

The Fudan-UC Center on Contemporary China, together with the 21st Century China Center and the Carter Center, convened at an academic conference on “Chinese State and Society in the Time of COVID.” The conference brought together young scholars studying China's politics, society, economy, and foreign relations during the disruptions brought on by COVID.

Since the outbreak of COVID, the world has been rocked politically, economically, and socially. We are soliciting papers from young scholars, including faculty and graduate students, based on their research on China and its external relations during the pandemic. While the conference aims to catalyze original evidence-based research on China, it convened 1-2 panels that focused on research related to U.S.-China relations.


Conference on Population and Social Change
Dec. 1-2, 2022 | Agenda (PDF)

Venues: La Jolla Shores Hotel and the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy

Overview: This two-day research conference aims to bring together scholars who study contemporary Chinese society, including anthropologists, demographers, social scientists and public health experts from the University of California and beyond to present their on-going research on population and social change in China. Topics to be covered range from the social implications of demographic change, marriage and family, social welfare, public health, rural society and urbanization in China.

2022 Young Scholars Conference
July 5-6, 2022, UC San Diego
The Young Scholars Conference is an annual event that is organized by Fudan-UC Center on Contemporary China in conjunction with the 21st Century China Center. It is open to graduate students and other early career scholars. The theme for the 2022 conference was "New Directions in Chinese Survey Research." Over 40 scholars presented research on topics ranging from support for COVID-19 policies to nationalism. 

Download the Agenda (PDF)


2019 Global Young Scholars Conference 
May 23-24, 2019, Fudan University
Fudan Development Institute (FDDI) and Fudan-UC Center on Contemporary China invite young social science scholars from around the world to exchange ideas and share research findings, and build new synergies and develop future collaborative projects. This year’s theme is: “China and the World: Development, Governance, Security”


2017 Young Scholars Conference
May 19-20, 2017
This annual conference started out in 2014 as a platform to bring young scholars from China’s Fudan University and the ten University of California campuses together to present their current research. It has expanded to include young scholars from other Chinese and American universities who study contemporary Chinese society, politics and economy. The annual gathering provides a great opportunity for the young scholars to exchange ideas, network with each other and develop fruitful collaborations in future.

Joint Research Symposium with National Sun Yat-sen University
March 24-25, 2017 | Social Science Breakout Session Agenda | Full Conference Details & Registration
UC San Diego teams up with National Sun Yat-sen Univeristy (NSYSU) for the third joint symposium to learn about the research and collaborations between the two universities and network with research leaders – with expanded sessions on social sciences and international studies. UC San Diego Political Science Professor Yiqing Xu and Ph.D candidates presented on the social science sessions (Saturday morning), poster sessions (Saturday afternoon) and keynote presenters include Professor Richard Madsen (Friday afternoon).


“The Evolution of Communist Political Systems”
Oct. 8 – 9, 2016 | Agenda (PDF)
This workshop, held at UC San Diego, honed in on the evolution of the remaining communist systems in China, Vietnam, North Korea and Cuba. It examined differences in leadership across the four systems; potential explanations for why they diverged; the theoretical implications the comparison provides for understanding the logic of communist institutions; and what the policy consequences of this divergence might be.

“Social Sciences and China Studies”
May 20 – 21, 2016
The Young Scholars Conference is an annual event that brings Chinese and American scholars together so they can exchange ideas and share research findings. The conference this year involved contributions from all social science disciplines that address critical issues in politics, law, economy, environment, media and information, and social change.

Analysis of China’s Institutions: Theory and Evidence
Jan. 16 – 17, 2016 | Beijing | Photos | News
This conference was a sequel to the first “Theory and Evidence” conference on political economy held at UC San Diego in 2014. Jointly organized by Tsinghua University’s National Institute for Fiscal Studies and the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy’s 21st Century China Center, the conference brought together leading researchers on China’s political and economic institutions for two days of paper presentations and informal discussion. It provided a forum for discussing cutting-edge theoretical and empirical analysis of China's economy and governance. It also provided scholars an opportunity to network and explore future joint research opportunities. This was an invitation only academic conference.


Economic Shocks and Authoritarian Survival (PDF)
Dec. 4 – 5, 2015 | UC San Diego
Organized by professor Victor Shih, this international conference brought together experts on different types of authoritarian countries, ranging from monarchy to Leninist and communist regimes to examine the relationship between external economic shocks and authoritarian survival. 

Graduate Research Conference in PRC History: Life Strategies, Identity Formations, and Political Crises in Socialist China, 1949-1989 (PDF)
June 15, 2015 | UC San Diego
This graduate student research conference in PRC history featured original work based on archival research by the Ph.D students in modern Chinese history at UC San Diego, East China Normal University in Shanghai, and other selected universities. Conference venue alternates between Shanghai and San Diego after 2015.

New Perspectives on Innovation and Intellectual Property Policy in China: What Does the Evidence Say?
May 19, 2015
Sponsored by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and UC San Diego (GPS, 21st Century China Center, and the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation)

Governance in China
May 14 – 15, 2015 | UC San Diego
This academic conference provided a platform for young scholars from China’s Fudan University and the 10 University of California campuses to present current research on contemporary Chinese society, politics and economy, exchange ideas and network with each other.

Quantitative Studies of the Chinese Elite
Feb. 6 – 7, 2015 | UC San Diego | Interview with Joseph Fewsmith
The Quantifying Structural Transformation project led by researchers David Meyer and Victor Shih aims to develop more precise measures of changes in social networks and apply them to the larger networks within which the Chinese leadership operates.

California-Shanghai Innovation Dialogue
Feb. 5 – 6, 2015 
For its inaugural forum, the California-Shanghai Innovation Dialogue gathered high-level business, political and academic leaders from California and Shanghai for influential conversations on topics crucial to the development of both regions.


Religion in China Today: Resurgence and Challenge
Nov. 3, 2014
Over the past three decades, there has been a remarkable resurgence of religious belief and practice in China. This has taken many forms, from the revival and transformation of folk religion, the reinvigoration of Christianity, Buddhism and Islam, and even the creation of new religious movements. These developments present new challenges to the Chinese state and have led to global controversies over the government’s handling of these challenges. This conference brought together distinguished Chinese and American scholars for a dialogue about the causes and political consequences of these developments.

China’s Political Economy: Theory and Evidence
Oct. 6 – 7, 2014
This academic conference brought together leading researchers on China’s political economy. It provided a forum for the presentation and discussion of cutting-edge theoretical and empirical research on important topics about China such as governance, accountability, corruption, reform politics, media and the rise of middle class. It also aimed to provide an opportunity for the political economy scholars to explore joint research projects.

Politics of Stability Maintenance in China
Aug. 21 – 22, 2014
This workshop brought leading sociologists and political scientists from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the U.S. for a workshop on the politics of stability maintenance in China. Each participant presented their latest original research at the workshop, the outcome of which will be edited into a volume to be published by an academic press. Cosponsored with Fudan-UC Center on Contemporary China.

Social Power in China
May 19 – 20, 2014 | UC San Diego
This academic conference provided a platform for young scholars from China’s Fudan University and the 10 University of California campuses to present current research on contemporary Chinese society, politics and economy, exchange ideas and network with each other.

China-Japan Relations and the Role of the U.S.
March 7, 2014
This conference brought together 14 experts from China, Japan and the United States to discuss the history and current state of China-Japan relations and the role of the U.S. in light of the political and economic changes.

Is China the Next Mexico?
Jan. 16, 2014
Jorge Guajardo, Mexico’s Ambassador to Beijing from 2007 to 2013, discussed the parallels and differences he observes between his country in the 1980s and 90s and China today, and how studying the last decades of Mexico’s PRI rule might serve to understand the future of the Chinese Communist Party. Guajardo's public keynote address is a part of a larger two-day conference called "Growth, Trade, Investment and the Future of Manufacturing in China, Mexico and the U.S."


China's Domestic Challenges
March 25, 2013
This conference (hosted by the Fudan-UC Center on Contemporary China) brought together scholars from throughout the University of California system and from Fudan University to discuss China’s contemporary domestic challenges.