Glocal Asian Studies Lecture Series: Lecture 8 | A Dance of Dragon and Elephant? China and India in the Era of Post-global Capitalism

On December 21, 2019, Prof. Mark Frazier, Professor of the New School of the United States, Associate Professor Selina Ho from the National University of Singapore, and Prof. He Chang from New York University in Shanghai, brought the last session of the Glocal Asian Studies Lecture Series in this semester. The theme was “A Dance of Dragon and Elephant? China and India in the Era of Post-global Capitalism”.

First of all, Mark Frazier discussed the respective student movements in Mumbai, India and Shanghai, China in the first half of the 20th century, and introduced some of the issues he found that can be compared between the two.

Dr. Selina Ho’s subsequent discussion focused on contemporary Chinese and Indian urban water governance issues. She took Hyderabad, India and Shenzhen, China as research cases, and finally pointed out that both China and India’s water governance policies and measures have both advantages and lessons that are worth learning from each other.

Afterwards, Prof. He Chang discussed contemporary poverty in Gansu, China and Bihar, India. She believed that in short run, China’s governance policies for rural poverty are better than India’s. However, in the long run, it is still difficult to decide which system is better.

The discussion of the three scholars from the perspectives of history, politics and economics put forward a paradigm that puts China and India under the same framework for research.

At the end of the lecture, Associate Professor Cao Yin from the Department of History of Tsinghua University and the sponsor of the Glocal Asian Studies Lecture Series in this semester, made a brief summary of all eight sesssions in the series and raised a few questions to young scholars and doctoral students at IIAS: How do we break away from the regional limitations of our respective studies and the existing paradigms and results of Western research, promote cross-regional research, drive interaction and circulation with local scholars in the research area, and create a new paradigm for area studies?

The Glocal Asian Studies Lecture Series hosted by IIAS of Tsinghua University was launched in Fall 2019. It aims to provide scholars participating in the events with a platform of dialogue and learning with top scholars studying Asia history and culture from all over the world. China’s area studies have been vigorously developed in the context of the “Belt and Road” Initiative in recent years. However, the current area studies are often a rigid superposition of country studies and lack intra-regional and inter-regional connections and comparative studies. The root cause is the missing of a long-term historical/cultural perspective in current area studies in China. The lecture series will invite top-notch and young scholars in the field of Asia studies at home and abroad to give special lectures on their latest research findings and communicate with participants. This will serve as an opportunity to cultivate area researchers’ transnational and global perspectives, and encourage them to reflect on the traditional research paradigm based on country.

By Cheng Yao