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CALL FOR PAPERS: The Role of National Identity & Media in US-China Relations

The Role of National Identity & Media in US-China Relations


2017 The Fourth Young Scholars Forum on US-China Relations
Organized by Emory University, The Carter Center and the Global Times
Sponsored by the Center for Global Information Studies, Georgia State University
October 24 and 25, 2017
Atlanta, United States

In 2017, the Fourth Young Scholars Forum on US-China Relations will take place in late October at the Carter Center/Emory University in Atlanta, GA, the United States. The organizers invite young scholars from China and the U.S. to present findings that examine the role of national identity, nationalism and media in Sino-US relations.



In September 2014, the first Forum for Young Chinese and American Scholars, which was jointly organized by The Carter Center and the Global Times, convened successfully at the Xi’an Jiaotong University.  President Jimmy Carter attended the Forum and provided opening remarks. More than 20 young scholars from both countries presented their research on the theme “How to Build Future U.S.-China Relations in the Context of Turbulent International Relations”. Senior American and Chinese scholars, including Professor David Shambaugh, General Qiao Liang, commented on the presentations and offered suggestions for revision of the papers.

The second Young Chinese and American Scholars Forum took place at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia in October 2015. Scholars from both countries shared their research on the topic “How Will the Future International Order Be Shaped by Past and Current U.S.-China interactions?”  Participating senior scholars also held a lively dialogue with Professor Lyle Goldstein, author of Meeting China Halfway: How to Defuse the Emerging US-China Rivalry.

In September 2016, Nanjing University hosted the third Young Chinese and American Scholars Forum. Scholars from both countries presented their findings on the topic of “The Impact of US-China Educational Exchanges on U.S.-China Relations”. Professors Yan Xuetong, David Arase and Shen Dingli as well as veteran US-China education exchange leader and author Terry Lautz attended the forum.



With a tidal wave of populism casting a shadow over political processes in Europe and in the United States as well as in China, resurgent nationalism is evolving as an important factor in international relations. Revived quests for redefining the meaning of the nation can both bolster and undermine foreign policy initiatives. This forum examines the linkages between national identity formations and policy-making in the Sino-US relationship—the most important bilateral relationship of the 21st century.

In the past year, we witnessed new public appeals for a strong nation state in both China and the United States. In the US, Trump won the presidential race unexpectedly by trumpeting the slogan “make American great again”. Under President Xi Jinping’s centralization of policy-making, including his anti-corruption campaign and reform of the military, the party-state is projecting an image of a global power capable of handling both its domestic problems and international challenges.

While the extent of nationalism amongst Chinese public is debatable, there are growing manifestations of radical nationalism online, calling for China’s stronger, uncompromising stance on issues ranging from Taiwan to Japan to what some see as US “hegemony.” On the US side, since the election of Donald Trump many debates about national greatness are rooted in America’s portrayal of strength on the global stage, especially vis-à-vis a rising and more assertive China. Nevertheless, more frequent international travels, migrations, and trades in both countries complicate this picture by adding more cosmopolitan elements.

How does this complex mosaic of nationalism on both sides affect US-China relations? What are the opportunities and challenges for Beijing and Washington to play the card of nationalism? What are the key frictions or contestations of national identity in China and the United States, and how do they play into the formation of the bilateral relationship under Xi Jinping and Trump? How has the deliberate use of social media outlets in distributing information by either the state or social actors on both sides of the Pacific contributed to a heightened state of misperception of each other and misunderstanding between the US and China? Is it fair to say the omnipotence of social media has made it difficult for the nation states to make informed foreign policy decisions?


We invite PhD candidates, postdoctoral fellows, assistant and associate professors, think tank analysts, researchers and young professionals outside of academia under the age of 40 to send in proposals that speak to these questions.

Proposals in English or Chinese (no more than 300 words in English or 600 in Chinese) with professional biographical information must be submitted by e-mail to either of the following addresses: or before May 29, 2017. Selection of participants to the forum will be announced on June 15, 2017.

The deadline for finalists to submit papers is September 20, 2017. The final paper can be in Chinese or English, but the forum will be conducted in English.  Senior scholars will provide comments on the selected papers.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email to either or or call the following number: 010-65369506 (the Global Times, Beijing) and 404-420-3884 (China Program, The Carter Center, Atlanta).

The conference organizers will cover all local expenses for all paper presenting scholars. Scholars are responsible for securing their own travels to the forum.



  • May 29, 2017 – Abstract due
  • June 15, 2017 – Notification of finalists
  • September 20, 2017 – Papers due
  • October 24 & 25, 2017 – Young Scholars Forum