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Andrea Chen
Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business

Last modified: Tuesday, September 18, 2012

IU research center to present findings on China and global governance at international conference

Sept. 18, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A research center at Indiana University will present findings from a three-year project on China and global governance to the international diplomatic community at a prominent conference Sept. 27 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Scholars in the project, coordinated by the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business at IU Bloomington, will be among 20 speakers at the Bridges China Dialogue 2012 at the International Conference Centre of Geneva.

Other speakers will include Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organization; Xinkui Wang, vice chairman of the All China Federation of Industry and Commerce; and Xiaozhun Yi, China's ambassador and permanent representative to the WTO.

Also presenting will be Scott Kennedy, the research center's director and an associate professor in the departments of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences. He will be joined by several scholars involved with the center's Initiative on China and Global Governance.

"A consistent goal of our center's work is to not just be relevant within academia, what scholars call 'internal validity'; we pursue external validity as well," said Kennedy, also an adjunct professor of business economics and public policy in IU's Kelley School of Business. "What we do is relevant to the policy world, to companies and other stakeholders. It doesn't just influence an academic debate.

"To have us participate in this conference in Geneva, where speakers will include the director-general of the World Trade Organization and China's ambassador to the WTO, the heads of very large companies and an audience of international diplomats and representatives to the WTO and the U.N., means our work will contribute to the public policy conversation," he added.

"We think that we have a very distinctive perspective on how to think about problems that they grapple with every day."

The purpose of the initiative has been to better understand the extent and significance of Chinese involvement in the major areas of economic global governance and promote greater engagement and cooperation among governments, industry, other stakeholders and scholars from the U.S., China, Europe and elsewhere.

The scholars have been looking at how China fits into the world, how it is learning the geopolitical rules of the game and how it can be a more constructive contributor to solving the planet's problems. The Henry Luce Foundation provided support for the project.

This will be the fourth in a series of center events on China's role organized by the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business, which has an office in Beijing. The Sept. 27 event coincides with the publication of a book of research produced through the global governance initiative. Timothy Bartley, IU associate professor of sociology, co-authored one of its chapters.

An international academic publisher, Routledge Press, also will publish a second book of research from the project early next year. About 25 of the initiative's papers also are available in English and Chinese on the center's website.

The purpose of the Bridges China Dialogue series is to provide a forum for engagement with public and private sectors from China and around the world. It brings together leading individuals to discuss the most pressing international issues. The Geneva-based International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business are the event organizers.

"We're not saying that we're going to unlock stalled negotiations or come up with a new solution -- even though we've got proposals on those areas -- but to give people a new sense of how these issues ought to be framed and thought about, amongst the people who ought to make the decisions, is pretty neat," Kennedy said.