Scholarly Engagement with Contemporary China | Duke Kunshan University

Scholarly Engagement with Contemporary China


The Center for the Study of Contemporary China is the institutional and intellectual home for focused scholarly engagement with contemporary China at Duke Kunshan University. In geographic reach, the center comprehends the study not only of mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan, but also of the global Chinese diaspora. In historical span, its emphasis is the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, but particularly present-day China and legacies that have shaped it. In disciplinary focus, the center seeks especially to promote rigorous, systematic study of real-world questions relevant to society, politics, and the economy of contemporary China.

At the university, the core affiliates of the center are the select faculty of outstanding scholars in the social sciences and humanities with a primary research and teaching focus on contemporary China. Through its activities, the center also serves as a bridge to scholars who pursue research on China in other programs at the university and at Wuhan University. The center and its affiliates build on a close collaborative relationship with the large concentration of Duke University scholars whose research on China encompasses a range of disciplinary perspectives. Beyond the two universities, the center builds connections, through its activities and affiliates, with scholars and institutions throughout China and across the world, based on a common commitment to scholarly engagement with contemporary China.


The chief mission of the center is to advance world-class research and teaching on society, politics, and the economy of contemporary China at Duke Kunshan University—and, in so doing, to contribute to the international reputation of a unique global liberal arts university. To this end and mindful of synergies, the center:

  • Supports excellence in research on contemporary China by the faculty associated with the university’s undergraduate degree program,
  • Creates undergraduate learning experiences that connect a rigorous, systematic, empirical research process with social science knowledge, and
  • Brings together leading scholars from China and elsewhere around the world to freely exchange ideas and research findings about contemporary China.