IIAS Lecture | Evolution of the Scholarship Since The Civic Culture

On May 9, the Institute for International and Area Studies (IIAS) of Tsinghua University hosted the lecture entitled “To Get Most Out of Political Culture: Evolution of the Scholarship Since The Civic Culture” online. This lecture, as an extension of the course “Comparative Political Development” was delivered by Lv Jie, Ye Chenghai Chair Professor of Political Science at the School of International Studies, Renmin University of China, and presided over by Su Yusong, Professor of Political Science at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Tsinghua University. Doctoral students from the IIAS, scholars and students from universities and research institutions at home and abroad attended the lecture and had a heated discussion on related topics.

At the beginning, Professor Lv sorted out the development process of political culture literature from theory interpretation, different academic approaches, academic status and challenges, and theoretical potential, and introduced the academic frontiers at home and abroad. Firstly, he explained the profound theories of political culture literature in simple language from two dimensions, i.e. the historical background of political practice and the historical imprint of disciplinary development. Subsequently, he summarized four different academic approaches to political culture studies at present, i.e. taking attitude, values, interaction or ethics as the core variable respectively. Then, he pointed out that the academic status of political culture is facing challenges from the outside, especially the challenge against its independent influence. There are still some issues requiring further clarifications in political culture research, such as unclear core variables and analytic modules, lack of political elements behind political culture research, and uncertain temporal and spatial scales of influence. He also stated that political culture research has great theoretical potential, and special attention should be paid to its dialogue and integration with rational choice theory. Professor Lv concluded with an introduction of his most recent academic work Understandings of Democracy: Origins and Consequences Beyond Western Democracies, as well as a summary and prospect of the studies in political culture.

During the Q&A session at the end of the lecture, Professor Lv had a lively exchange and interaction with the audience online, and enthusiastically responded to their questions such as how to better understand the political culture of a target country in fieldwork practices, how to study the academic theories of political culture, and how to conduct research on the integration of political culture.

Lv Jie is Ye Chenghai Chair Professor of Politic Science and Director of the Data Science Research Center at the School of International Studies, Renmin University of China. His research focuses on political culture, psychology, behavior and communication, institutional change and grassroots governance. Professor Lv is good at quantitative analysis and mixed research. He has 2 monographs published in English by Oxford University Press (Varieties of Governance, 2015; Understandings of Democracy, 2022) and nearly 20 papers published on top SSCI journals in comparative politics and Chinese studies (Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics, Politics & Society, Political Communication, Political Psychology, China Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China et al.). His research findings have been included in the Oxford Research Encyclopedias. He teaches a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in English and Chinese, covering comparative politics, comparative political systems, Chinese politics, and research and measurement methods

Contributed by: Hu Shulei

Reviewed by: Su Yusong, Lv Jie