Thirty years of reform and opening up: Teaching international relations in China

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In 1978, Deng Xiaoping declared that China's future depended on gaige kaifang (reform and opening up to the West). By any standard, China has reformed its economic system and prospered handsomely by integrating into the world economy. With less fanfare, China has taken steps to restructure its political system and committed substantial resources to harmonizing relations with its neighbors. Given these changes, China's insular tradition, and Communist government, this article considers how the country's reemergence has impacted the teaching of international relations (IR) at Chinese universities. Using primary and secondary sources, including university Web sites written in Chinese and English, and about a dozen semi-structured interviews conducted in Beijing and Xi'an, this study concludes that although China has become actively engaged in IR and the internationalization of universities is evident, the government has yet to endorse fully the importance of IR as a discipline, and universities have not systematically adopted the theoretical toolbox developed outside of China to describe, explain, and predict behavior in IR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-121
Number of pages7
JournalPS - Political Science and Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Thirty years of reform and opening up: Teaching international relations in China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this