CCPN at LSE (2004-13)

The China in Comparative Perspective Network (CCPN) is the first of its kind in the world. As an 'advanced study on China' the CCPN encourages inter-disciplinary,  inter-institutional, trans-national, and comparative approaches, and engages collaborative studies with academic, government, business and public on China in its Asian and global contexts. Its academic activities embrace a taught course, a journal, a laboratory for fostering researchers, a global network on networking, an International collaborative research base, a News and Events section, and a wide variety of Online resources.

In accordance with the policies of  the Third stream as second mission  ('anything other than research and teaching, the two core elements of University activity', HEFCE 2006) and the 'A Vision for Science and Society' (DIUS 2008), the CCPN additionally serves as a place where knowledge transfer and public engagement between ‘science and society’ can be exercised. This is facilitated by the diverse methods and resources found on the website, such as the sections China-Europe Dialogue, China Development Forum, Public Debate, Research Interests Blog, Discussion Board, and Facebook.

'Advanced studies on China'

LSE is a research-intensive social science university. Its institutional mission is 'to continue to enhance its position as the leading academic centre of international excellence in the social sciences'. China is the only country for which LSE's representation is explicitly managed by the External Relations Division (see LSE China and LSE and China). This signifies how important China is to LSE. In 2006 at the launch of the celebration of the Confucius Institute for Business London, LSE Director Howard Davies said: 'At LSE there are more than 500 undergraduate and postgraduate students from mainland China and around 300 from the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong.’ 800 Chinese students represent about 10 per cent of the total student body. LSE has an increasing number of activities in China which can be seen from the projects, such as the  LSE-Peking University Double Degree in Public Administration and Government, LSE - Peking University Summer School 2012, LSE-PKU Double Degree in International Affairs, LSE-Fudan Double Degree in Global Media and Communications, LSE MSc China in Comparative Perspective and TRIUM EMBA.

However, as a discipline-oriented institution LSE doesn't focus on area studies, thus, China studies, as such, does not exist at LSE. In responding to  LSE's innovative interdisciplinary methodological lecture series 'Thinking like a social scientist' (TLASS) we developed the approach of 'advanced studies on China'. We make a distinction between 'China studies' and the term 'Advanced studies on China' which describes the discipline-based social scientific studies on China. In order to advance studies on China at LSE and to continue its mission 'to enhance its position as the leading academic centre of international excellence in the social sciences' we have created 'China in comparative perspective'. By this we mean the use of China as a comparator to compare, contemporarily and historically, with other countries or regions in interdisciplinary, multiple engagements, across institutions, and translational  approaches for advancing general knowledge. We are also developing an optional course 'Introduction to Advanced Studies on China' which will cover methodology and more general topics.   

The CCPN was initiated by scholars from the Asia Research Centre and the Department of Anthropology of the London School of Economics. The Network is currently affiliated to the Department of Anthropology but not confined to anthropologists. The CCPN enlists nearly two dozen LSE China experts as core members, Academic Advisory Committee members, or Editorial Board members of the Journal of China in Comparative Perspective. The CCPN engages principally with the following departments and institutions: Anthropology, Development Studies, Economic History, Economics, Finance, Government, International History, International Relations, Law, Management, Media and Communication, Social Policy, Sociology, Statistics. The CCPN aims to become a world-class locus for research on issues or themes relating to China in comparative perspective. We are multi-disciplinary and aim to link and pool the expertise of all experts on China seeking comparative and inter-disciplinary approaches to China-related topics.

In many respects the China in Comparative Perspective Network (CCPN) can be seen as an extension of the ‘Global Economic History Network (GEHN)’ run by members of the Department of Economic History at LSE. GEHN’s five major themes are state formation and market, imperialism and colonialism, economic culture, science, technology and useful knowledge, and cotton textiles viewed as global industry. Based on studies on China, the interests of the China in Comparative Perspective Network overlap with those of the GEHN, but also focus on contemporary topics such as state, politics, post-colonialism, international relations, market, economic culture, and society. 

MSc China in Comparative Perspective

The CCPN is built on LSE's MSc China in Comparative Perspective and promotes it. This is a course exploiting the School’s multidisciplinary expertise to very good effect, asking students to study China's modern economic history, politics, international relations, society and culture in a comparative framework; using India, that other important and fast-growing economy, as well as the history of China itself, and European modernising projects, as comparators.

(photo left) Professor Feuchtwang and the first class of students of the MSc China in Comparative Perspective (2006-07)

Journal of China in Comparative Perspective (JCCP)

The Journal of China in Comparative Perspective (JCCP) ) publishes original multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research on contemporary China. It is one of the first journals to propose articles that use the methodological lens of comparative analysis and research. It stresses exploration across disciplines and encourages cooperation and co-authorship on the same issue from different disciplines. The JCCP aims to bring out the best in academic scholarship, transcending traditional academic boundaries in an innovative manner. The peer reviewed JCCP will be published bi-annually from 2009. It will be available in both print and electronic versions to ensure consistency and long term viability (click the image for details).

Researchers Fostering Laboratory

  The CCPN sets up a ‘Researchers Fostering Laboratory’ to provide real opportunities for students from all levels and researchers who are interested in China related studies to build up their experiences via exploring and developing different kinds of projects. On top of basic skills which can be learned within an academic discipline, training in research methodologies, experience doing course projects, and participating in student societies' activities, etc., the CCPN’s innovative ‘Researchers Fostering Laboratory’ is designed for helping students and researchers to practice and exercise the above methods and skills in different research processes, ranging from archiving data, designing projects, applying for grants or fundraising, networking, access to facilities, implementing projects, to online discussion or debating, engaging with the media and the public for dissemination, etc. The photos on the left picture some CCPN members, Research Assistants and friends at a Chinese New Year Parties in 2009 and 2010

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Comparative Research on Chinese Relationships Network (CRCRN)

 The CCPN has a core focus of ‘networking’ fostered by its sub-research network Comparative Research on Chinese Relationship Network (CRCRN). The CRCRN contains 10 sections. They are: Background, Establishment of a research network, Objective and aims, Significance, Methodology, Structure of the network, Network activities, Related projects (the book on the right is one of the related project, although marginally about networks - click the image for details), Working papers and publications, and References. Its core project is interpersonal relationship research, especially entrepreneur relationships, a topic common to every culture and society. Its aims are to further the work of researchers interested in the study of interpersonal relationships, and provide a platform on which ideas and practices specific to Chinese culture can be identified and compared. It will stimulate interdisciplinary research on Chinese interpersonal relationships internationally; serve for comparison with other cultural practices of interpersonal relationships; generate a series of potential research projects based on related themes as well as projected advances in theory and methods; and afford research-based understanding of these relationships in areas of practical value to government agencies and business consultants.

International Collaborative Research Base (ICRB)

The CCPN was awarded the LSE Seed Research Fund in support of the School's Asia Strategy in 2007 with a project on 'Value Orientation in Entrepreneurs and Local Officials, and its Role in the Interactions which Affect Small Firm Growth in the Yangtze River Delta' (See photo below of the conference Chinese Entrepreneur Orientation and Relationships in Yangtze Delta Region). The Seed Fund 'encourages collaborative research' in order to 'create intellectual connections that may lead to longer-term, larger-scale, funded work'. Based on our existing experiences of collaboration with China on social scientific research the CCPN set up the 'International Collaborative Research Base’ (ICRB).  It will complement, and contribute to, all of our various projects and interests: our existing taught course MSc China in Comparative Perspective; the Journal of China in Comparative Perspective (JCCP) which uses China as a key comparator and encourages interdisciplinary, comparative and cooperative studies; and the sub-network on networking Comparative Research on Chinese Relationship Network. It is hoped that the ECCRB web page will enable participation in different kinds of long term strategic collaborative research on social sciences between Europe and China. We have recently participated in a project 'Social-cultural factors, ethnic minority entrepreneurial orientation and firm growth: a comparative study of Turkish and Chinese small firms in the UK', in collaboration with Oxford Brookes University and Royal Holloway, funded by the ESRC (2006-08). Currently, we are participating in projects such as 'Chinese entrepreneur relationships and global economics' in collaboration with Nanjing University, funded by the DIUS (2008-09); 'Chinese governmental governance models' in collaboration with Northeast University, funded by the Ministry of Education of China (2009-2011); and 'Comparative Studies on the New Migration from BRICS in America, Australia, Japan and UK' in collaboration with Nihon Fukushi University, funded by Ministry of Education of Japan (2009-12). The photos show some CCPN's events which took place in China in 2009.

Academic events

Looking back to Professor Stephan Feuchtwang’s 25-year old weekly based ‘London China Seminar’, the CCPN organises occasional seminars, workshops, public lectures, and conferences specializing in local work on major issues, and involves scholars or research students who carry out fieldwork in China. Details can be found on the page CCPN Events. The News and Events section presents current and archived news and events divided into four sections, CCPN, LSE, UK and the World.  These CCPN activities are run in parallel with the Taiwan Research Programme (TRP), also under Professor Feuchtwang's directorship. The photos on the left are some CCPN's events at LSE in 2007 and 2011.

Online resources

The CCPN integrates Resources from a diversity of existing materials, data and information available from China-related work within and outside LSE. The CCPN's Research Assistants are working on the online archiving data project. Our aim is to build one of the largest online databases on China related studies. We are at the initial stage of sorting out our resources. Your comments and suggestions are welcome. You also can help by Supporting the CCPN, and by Joining the CCPN!

Knowledge Transfer

As a research-intensive social science university LSE's mission is “to continue to enhance its position as the leading academic centre of international excellence in the social sciences.” Within this context its key third stream objective is “to improve the dissemination of the School’s research and enhance high level intellectual engagement with an increasingly broader audience” (See Templates for HEIF 4 institutional strategies ).  Over the past two years the CCPN has participated in workshops run by the ESRC Knowledge Transfer Team, such as 'Getting Research into Practice (GRIP)', and 'Engaging with Business'. LSE's knowledge transfer expertise and research excellence was recognised by the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) in 2004. This year the LSE’s Research and Project Development Division (RPDD) made a cCall for bids for the 'HEIF4 Bid Fund' which is a new competitive source of funding to support the LSE’s efforts in KT in the social sciences. Currently the CCPN is developing its Knowledge Transfer strategy by engaging with colleagues in Asia Research Centre, Managerial Economics and Strategy Group, Department of Media and Communication, Confucius Institute for Business London (CIBL) among others. The CCPN research assistants of the Researchers Fostering Laboratory already archived some online material about knowledge transfer at LSE.

Public Engagements

The CCPN set up the column 'Public Engagements' which brings related webpages under one umbrella. The China-Europe Dialogue on Society provides an arena in which the practice of public dialogue can be encouraged. On 27-28 Oct 2008 the CCPN and the China-Europa Forum successfully organised the Preparatory meeting in North Europe for the 3rd Biennial of the China-Europa Forum, the only forum focusing specifically on Chinese and European societies. The CCPN will participate in China-Europa Forum activities in an ongoing fashion. This is in accordance with the 'Vision for Science and Society' from the DIUS (Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills). It especially promotes 'public dialogue', describing it as 'a form of deliberative participatory engagement where outcomes are used to inform decision making’, and thus 'a core activity for government in its role as policy maker'. It supports the British Academy's response, which focuses on 'enhancing dialogue on science in public debate', No.1 of the three issues.  The CCPN has also formed a partnership with the LSE Students Union China Development Society (CDS) and helped it to organise the first China Development Forum on 31st January 2009.  In addition to these activities the Research Interests Blog, the interactive Discussion Boards, and the Facebook page will also serve to engage with both academics and the public.  Public engagement is a related objective of the CCPN Knowledge Transfer.

| China-Europe Dialogue on Society: Preparatory meeting in North Europe for the 3rd Biennial of the China-Europa Forum was held on 27-28 Oct 2008 at LSE Bankside House.

The CCPN aims to become a world-class locus for research on issues or themes relating to China in comparative perspective. We are multi-disciplinary and anticipate linking and pooling the expertise of all experts on China seeking comparative and inter-disciplinary approaches to China-related topics. In recent years CCPN developed rapidly focusing on China in Comparative perspective.   

We hope that the the multifunctional CCPN website will provide individuals interested in China with the means to meet and interact in a spirit of scholarly exchange, and an arena where we interact with society for the public good.


(1). The above CCPN history was the version of CCPN's 'About us' when its website was hosted directly under LSE website before 2010.

(2) After its website was hosted at the Departments of Anthropology and Economic History respectively from 2010-13 CCPN's development can be seen from the sections of Reserach, Events, Publications, Knowledge transfer and Public engagement, etc. 

(3) While doing reserach work at LSE, Dr Xiangqun Chang, the funder of CCPN, had been working voluntarily in developing CCPN under guidance from the former CCPN Directors, and supported by CCPN's Management Committee, Core members at LSE, and Academic Advisory Committee globally from 2004 to 2013.

(4) Professor Stephan Feuchtwang, the founding Director of CCPN and first Chair of the CCPN Management Committee handed over these two roles to Dr Kent Deng, and Professor Danny Quah in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Since then the CCPN team worked under the new leadership and completed the process of making CCPN independent of LSE in March 2013.


The websites and blogs are in use while they are being built 本网站和博客均在'边建设边使用' 中

The above title is adapted from the China's development style in order for you to share our resources in a timely fashion. There is still a huge amount of work to be done. Your understanding, participation and generous support are highly appreciated!

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