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Research Areas

Theoretical research for Public Administration

Focusing on the key issues of administrative governance, analyzing the paths of innovative governance from historical evolution, governance system, organizational arrangement, and behavioral supervision etc. An integrated construction of public administration was proposed for integrating knowledge sources of administrative governance innovation, which laid the foundational role of public administration discipline for administrative governance innovation. Based on the unique logic in interpreting the administrative governance innovation, the characteristics of the framework for studying Chinese administrative governance was extracted, which reflects the advantages in the theoretical research tradition at Nanjing University.

Public Policy Process Research

Centered on "policy process – middle-range theory", a serial of theoretical and explanatial studies were conducted for Chinese governmental experiences that focus on China’s public policy process and diversified research methods based on solid fieldworks. Further research was carried out on major practical and theoretical issues such as agenda setting, policy implementation, policy diffusion, and policy types, as a result, a number of conceptual and analytical framework to better delineate the knowledge foundation for the characteristics of China’s public policy process and its institutional basis have been preliminary formed. Thus, it provides cumulative knowledge for the development of "Sinicized" public policy process theory and understanding of China’s governance pattern from the perspective of policy process.

Social Security

This concentration explores the basic theory of modern social security, studies the function and role of social security in the process of realizing "welfare China", and promotes the construction of social security system and policy in transitional China in international comparative research. The direction leader is the vice president of the Chinese Society of Social Security, the president of the social assistance branch of the Chinese Society of Social Security, and also the first candidate of the national major talent project in the field of social security. The research team has presided over 2 major projects of the National Social Science Fund in recent years, and has been approved as the policy theory research base of the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the key construction base of philosophy and social sciences in Jiangsu. The team has published many high-level journal articles both nationally and internationally, including but not limited to Chinese Social Sciences, People’s Daily, Management World, Social Science and Medicine; the research results have won the third prize of the Outstanding Achievement Award for Scientific Research in colleges and universities, and have a leading position in the field of domestic social assistance research.

Social Medicine and Health Care Management

This concentration is supported by the research results of the social governance pattern and focuses on the public health research and medical system reform policies to develop policies for the disabled in the construction of "Healthy China." This direction typically explores a series of deep-seated issues that related to public health management system, medical service market, medical security, drug policy etc. The center has achieved outstanding research results in the following fields: medical system reform, public health policy, telemedicine service system construction, urban and rural medical insurance coordination, public hospital reform, drug production, circulation issues etc., which has undertaken a number of international, national, and local projects that won many awards.

Emergency Management

This concentration explores the mechanism of social systems towards emergency events big and small in the transitional stage from industrial society to risk society. It is the leading team to study social risk research and has experienced over 30-year legacy and development: created the emergency management discipline that built upon the public management as the core, and promoted it to be an interdisciplinary research paradigm that keeps pace with disaster sociology that emerged in the USA and crisis politics that originated from Europe, thus it heavily contributed to the acceleration of the construction of China’s independent knowledge system. At the same time, it actively responds to the major needs of the country, effectively promotes the reform of the national emergency management system, participating in important legislative works such as the revision of the Emergency Response Law, docks the special cooperation on emergency management in the Yangtze River Delta, and serves for the national strategies of Yangtze River Delta integration. Furthermore, based on China’s practices, the team provides a theoretical reference for global risk social governance with case studies on major disasters such as Wenchuan earthquake and COVID-19 pandemics etc.

Political Theory

1. Political concepts. This field of research draws its method from conceptual history, or in German, Begriffsgeschichte, and combines it with political philosophy, political conceptual history, and political discourse analysis. Together, it traces the construction and shifts of Chinese and Western political discourses, and identifies the rationalities and mechanisms behind modern political concepts and discourses. This field of research contributes to as well as reflects on the knowledge exchange between Chinese and Western political science research, especially research on political modernity.

2. Political Phenomenology. This field of research applies phenomenological method and charts its own path outside of mainstream political philosophy and normative theory studies. It provides a new toolkit for political science which not only furthers the analysis of traditional research topics, but also helps explore uncharted research areas.

Chinese Government & Politics

This field of research builds on Chinese classic political theories and theories from the late Qing dynasty, especially since the foundation of the Chinese Communist Party (1921-present). Its research agenda is also inspired by governance experience and theories from other countries. By studying the political ideology, political institutions, political practices, and the interactions among them, Chinese politics research analyzes the state-building process in China since the late Qing dynasty, and examines the governance practices in contemporary China.


Comparative Politics

Against the rise of institutionalism, comparative politics is the comparative study of other countries’ political institutions and their consequences, and analyzes the elite politics and state-society relations of different political units. Comparative politics is especially preoccupied with research of developing countries, along with how institutional arrangements affect the political processes and governance of these countries. It also entails the politics and new trends in Western democracies, including populism and political polarization, for instance. With the use of qualitative and quantitative methods, this field sets to capture the developments and shifts in the political landscape of countries in the world.