The Chinese Communist Party at 100: Assessing Its Roles

CSCC 8th Annual Conference
Sep 3, 2020 - Sep 4, 2020 | Virtual Conference via Zoom

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Conference Agenda

Conference Bios

As the Chinese Communist Party nears the one hundredth anniversary of its founding and moves toward Xi Jinping extending his tenure beyond the (fragile) norm of a decade in the top Party (and state) posts, there are major issues concerning the Party’s changing roles in recent years and prospects for future developments: the Party’s relationship with other major institutions, including government / state organs, the military, and courts and the legal system; the Party’s relationship with economic actors and social groups, including state-owned or state-linked enterprises, entrepreneurs and private businesses, old and new media, and civil society / non-governmental organizations; and other perennially important issues for the Party, including ideology, corruption, policy implementation, external relations (such as united front work or soft power efforts, as distinct from the state’s foreign policy), and intra-elite politics.  What is the Party’s role in each of these issue areas?  Where has it succeeded and what challenges does it face?  Has there been an inflection point or significant change during the Xi era, or is there some other inflection point?  What are the prospects as the Party enters its second century? To address such questions, the conference will convene a group of leading China scholars to share their expertise and insights. 

(This conference is open to University of Pennsylvania faculty, students, postdocs, and staff, and affiliates of the Center for the Study of Contemporary China.  Others may join with permission and subject to capacity constraints.  Please RSVP at https://forms.gle/MAGBeKfuE4CXfk6D9 to receive a Zoom link.)


Thursday, September 3, 2020

1:00-1:15 PM Opening Remarks

Panel 1 (1:15- 2:45 PM)

Margaret Pearson, University of Maryland 

Business and the Party

Yue Hou, University of Pennsylvania 

The Party and the Private Sector


Scott Kennedy, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Marshall Meyer, University of Pennsylvania

Chair: Regina Abrami, University of Pennsylvania

Panel 2 (3:00- 4:45 PM)

Bruce Dickson, George Washington University 

The Party Leads It All: The Return of Leninism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era

Cheng Li, Brookings Institution 

Intra-Party Elite Politics: Reign and Resilience in the Xi Jinping Era

Cheng Chen, SUNY Albany

Ideology and Organization: Xi Jinping’s Party-Building in Historical Perspective


Rory Truex, Princeton University

Joe Fewsmith, Boston University

Yuhua Wang Harvard University

Chair: Avery Goldstein, University of Pennsylvania


Panel 3 (5:00-6:30 PM)

Bates Gill, Macquarie University

The Party and External Relations

Andrew Scobell, RAND Corporation and Marine Corps University

The Party in Uniform:The Institutional Irony of Chinese Gun Control


Joseph Torigian, American University

Avery Goldstein, University of Pennsylvania

Chair: Jacques deLisle, University of Pennsylvania


Friday, September 4, 2020

Panel 4 (8:00-9:30AM) 

Xin He, University of Hong Kong 

The Party’ Control over the Judiciary after Recent Reforms

Melanie Manion, Duke University 

Corruption and Chinese Communist Party Power


Jacques deLisle, University of Pennsylvania

Jamie Horsley, Yale Law School

Yuhua Wang, Harvard University

Chair: Neysun Mahboubi, University of Pennsylvania


Panel 5 (9:45- 11:15AM)

Yanhua Deng, Nanjing University

The Party Rules All: The Impact of Multiple-Job Holding in Rural China

Fenggang Yang, Purdue University

The Chinese Communist Party and Religion


Emily Hannum, University of Pennsylvania

Matthew Erie, University of Oxford

Chair: Guobin Yang, University of Pennsylvania


Panel 6 (11:30- 1:00PM)

Maria Repnikova, Georgia State University

The Party and the Media: Unpacking the Dynamic Relationship and the Challenges Ahead

Diana Fu, University of Toronto; Emile Dirks, University of Toronto

The Party’s Struggle to Tame Civil Society


Min Jiang,  UNC Charlotte

Guobin Yang, University of Pennsylvania

Chair: Emily Hannum, University of Pennsylvania