Upcoming Events

Virtual Engagements on Global China

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Online Event

This public lecture series features international scholars and experts on a wide range of topics related to China's global presence and impacts. Each seminar will begin with a 30-min presentation, followed by another 30 mins of Q&A. The series is free and open to the global public. Participants must register before each seminar.  READ MORE...

"Global Hong Kong: Lessons from Elsewhere" Speaker Series

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Online Event

As Hong Kong experiences unprecedented political and social upheavals, we invite speakers who can shed light on other societies which have faced similar challenges. Putting Hong Kong in global perspectives may inspire comparative research, theoretical and historical reflections, as well as public discussions on our collective future. Each public lecture will begin with a 30-min presentation, followed by another 30 mins of Q&A. The series is free and open to the public. Participants must register before each event. READ MORE...

City in a box? Rethinking the Special Economic Zone as the ‘China Model’ of development

Online Event

The concept of ‘infrastructure space’ was proposed by Keller Easterling in her 2014 book Extrastatecraft to identify the spaces where de facto forms of infrastructural governance form before they can be officially legislated by the states that house them. While China seemingly offers a large array of such spaces in the ‘Special Economic Zone’ format, such spaces tend to say less about the logics of global capitalism than they do about the legacies of the socialist city, and of the administrative state’s territorializing power. Easterling’s idea of extrastatecraft presupposes a state of contingent sovereignty in such spaces, but scholars of China’s system of territorial administration see no ambiguity or contingency in China’s special zones whatsoever. In contrast, then, to the ‘neoliberalism as exception’ popularized by Aihwa Ong, China’s infrastructure spaces are firmly embedded within an administrative hierarchy in which socialist urban planning has played a significant role. Such ‘exceptional’ spaces have long served as the infrastructures of state-led social transformation, and continue to do so today. This makes the Special Economic Zone a complicated and not particularly reliable ‘model’ for export in China’s efforts to promote development agendas beyond its borders. While numerous popular and academic accounts have characterized China’s zone model of development as a mobile platform for ‘extraterritoriality’ – a ready-made ‘city in a box’ – that reproduces Chinese social and cultural spaces abroad, the Chinese zone is primarily a state administrative infrastructure that travels poorly. READ MORE...

Global Hong Kong Speaker Series: Strategies in the struggle against Apartheid Authoritarianism in South Africa

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At the beginning of the 1980s, the prospects for a democratic transition in South Africa seemed remote. Nelson Mandela was in prison and the Apartheid state was a sophisticated authoritarian regime, combining limited reforms with an increasingly militarised security state. However, over the course of the decade, a powerful mass movement emerged which combined in 1983 to form the United Democratic Front. This movement engaged in a sustained strategy to render the apartheid state illegitimate, and ultimately led to the negotiations which resulted in the transition to a single, non-racial, secular and democratic state. In this paper, Professor Cherry, who was herself an activist in this movement throughout the decade of the 1980s, explores the strategy and tactics of the movement, including the ways in which the movement coped with the repressive measures of the authoritarian Apartheid regime. READ MORE...

Global Hong Kong Speaker Series: Undongkwŏn as a Counterpublic Sphere in the South Korean Minjung Movement

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Looking at the South Korean student movement within the larger context of the minjung movement, this talk will focus on discursive strategies that constituted undongkwŏn (“the movement sphere”) as a counterpublic, the process through which an ordinary student entered the realm of undongkwŏn, the ways in which the undongkwŏn culture was created and maintained, and how the counterpublic sphere is related to the process of larger societal transformation. READ MORE...

Past Events

Global Hong Kong Speaker Series: Protest, repression and justice in Northern Ireland

Online Event

As Hong Kong experiences unprecedented political and social upheavals, we invite speakers who can shed light on other societies which have faced similar challenges. Putting Hong Kong in global perspectives may inspire comparative research, theoretical and historical reflections, as well as public discussions on our collective future. In this talk, Former CNN correspondent Mike Chinoy discusses his new book, Are You With Me? Kevin Boyle and the Rise of the Human Rights Movement and the lessons of Boyle’s life and work for protection of human rights around the world today. Kevin Boyle was a human rights lawyer and a leader of the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland READ MORE...

Rethinking China’s Soft Power: The Pragmatic Enticement of Confucius Institutes in Ethiopia

Online Event

This talk challenges the popular imagery of CIs as controversial and ideological by illuminating their practical offerings in developing contexts. Specifically, through the case study of Ethiopia, the presentation demonstrates that China’s fusion of practical or tangible benefits with language and cultural promotion invokes support from key participants, including university administrators, students, and Chinese teachers. At the same time, the apparent gaps between rising expectations of Ethiopian administrators and students and the limited resources on the ground, present a challenge for sustainability of CIs in Ethiopia and beyond. READ MORE...