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CHESS Young Scholars Conference 2015 – Responding to China’s Environmental Crisis: Interdisciplinary Approaches


Vienna, Austria


27 – 28th Feb 2015


30th Nov 2014

Organized by CHESS (China and the Environment in the Social Sciences) Hosted by the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Vienna, Austria Keynote speaker: Yu Xiaogang, Green Watershed

Submissions are welcomed for the inaugural CHESS Young Scholars Conference to be held at the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Vienna on 27-28 February 2015.


CHESS (China and the Environment in the Social Sciences) is an interdisciplinary research network for scholars from across the social sciences with research interests relating to environmental issues in China. Both the network and the conference provide a forum for graduate students and young scholars to discuss ideas, exchange information and to strengthen professional networks across the field.


China faces a multitude of environmental challenges, ranging from biophysical impacts of climate change, deforestation and water scarcity, to impacts on health and social stability resulting from pollution, land contamination and overexploitation of natural resources. Rapid industrialization and lax environmental oversight have exacerbated these problems exponentially, leaving the country in a position of acute environmental crisis and unsustainable development.


The CHESS Young Scholars Conference 2015 aims to investigate and formulate new theorizations of environmental dynamics in China through a critical analysis of actors, institutions and processes across and between spatial dimensions from the local to the international level, taking into account the political, economic and social contexts in which they operate. A key element of the conference is the broad interdisciplinary nature of its panels, drawing from across the social sciences in order to utilize a diverse array of theoretical and methodological approaches. To allow for a holistic perspective, contributions from political science, sociology, economics, anthropology, law and other disciplines addressing environmental issues in the PRC and/or Taiwan are highly encouraged.


Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • China on the world stage: international environmental and climate change diplomacy
  • Environmental governance in rural and urban areas
  • Changing roles of state, market, and civil actors
  • The Chinese environmental movement: actors and trends
  • Greening China’s economy: tools, policies, and marketization strategies

Options for further collaboration and possible joint publications will be discussed during the conference.

More information


Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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