Call for Papers: Young Scholars Forum on U.S.-China Relations


U.S.-China Relations and the Domestic Determinants of Foreign Policy

The Sixth Young Scholars Forum on U.S.-China Relations

Organized by The Carter Center

September 2021 – Zoom Conference

Over the past decade, the world has witnessed the steady deterioration of U.S.-China relations. Key issues in the bilateral relationship, which span from sovereignty to human rights, appear increasingly intractable as neither side is willing to share responsibility for the current state of affairs. Hawkish rhetoric and rising nationalism have exacerbated misperceptions that now present the core obstacle to charting a peaceful and productive path forward.

In a promising turn, there is growing realization in the U.S. that the bilateral relationship emerges from its domestic politics and governance. Such introspection, however, must also extend to a deep understanding of how Chinese domestic politics and governance influences its foreign policy. Which institutions in each country drive foreign policy decision-making? Who processes and interprets the actions and goals of the other country? How can the U.S. and China ensure that both sides are sufficiently informed to carry the relationship forward? How can each country better manage internal public opinion?

We invite graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, assistant and associate professors, and young professionals, including analysts and researchers, under the age of 40 to submit an abstract for an essay or paper addressing these issues.

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 by May 15, 2021. Selection of participants to the forum will be announced on June 1, 2021. For selected participants, the deadline to submit essays is August 15, 2021.

Essays and papers presented at the forum will be evaluated by scholars and professionals in U.S.-China relations. Papers will be eligible for three awards:

  • 2021 Jimmy Carter Award for Best Paper/Essay on U.S.-China Relations
  • 2021 Jimmy Carter Award for Best Paper/Essay on American Foreign Policy
  • 2021 Jimmy Carter Award for Best Paper/Essay on Chinese Foreign Policy

Each will come with a $2,000 prize. Honorable mentions for any of the awards will receive $500. These essays will also be published in the U.S.-China Perception Monitor.

May 15, 2021 – Abstracts must be emailed to

June 1, 2021 – Authors selected for participation will be notified.

August 31, 2021 – Papers must be submitted to

To download a copy of the flyer, please click here.