IAS-Fudan & Deng Zhenglai

In order to enhance studies on China at LSE we have created the 'China in Comparative Perspective' methodology. In response to LSE's innovative interdisciplinary methodological lecture series 'Thinking like a social scientist' we developed the term 'advanced study on China'. By this we mean the usage of China as a comparator to compare with other countries or regions in interdisciplinary, cross institutions, and translational  approaches for advancing general knowledge.  As a type of advanced study on China the CCPN (China in Comparative Perspective Network) has engaged closely with the Institute for Advanced Study of Social Science at Fudan University (IAS-Fudan) since its launch in June 2008.    


Fudan-IAS, a fascinating initiative, stresses that 'social science' was established in 2008, and provides a bridge to the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences at Nanjing University.

It seeks to become a leading social science institute in China and to promote awareness of cutting edge global social science developments in China to achieve a better understanding of social science theories, intellectual inquires, traditions and approaches, and methods. Its mission is to build an a (n) inter/ (non-) disciplinary academic system with China-based academic criteria and its aim is to build a new discourse in social sciences by breaking the existing disciplinary barriers. 

It has the following major publications:  

4 journals:

4 book series:

It also publishes YaleGlobal Online Fudan edition (in Chinese)

The following books below can be found in Amazon UK:

DENG Zhenglai: the founder of IAS-Fudan  

The founding Dean of the IAS Fudan-IAS Professor Zhenglai Deng (1956-2013) passed away having suffered from gastric cancer, on 24 Jan 2013, aged only 56 (see Obituary and a memorial service).

Deng Zhenglai was the one of first independent scholars in socialist China for 18 years after his postgraduate from the China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU). In 1987 he established the Beijing Institute of Social Sciences, one of the earliest private research institutes in China. He was the founding editor of the Chinese Social Sciences Quarterly, editor-in-chief of Fudan China Studies and China Social Sciences Quarterly. Deng took professorship at Jilin University in 2003. From 2008 to 2013 he was a distinguished professor of Fudan University, Dean of Fudan-IAS and  adjunct professor, guest professor, or honorary professor, at many Chinese universities.

Deng published 25 books, translated 20 books, edited 43 books, and 95 journal articles, e,g.,  State and Society: China’s Civil Society (2002); Research and Reflections: Autonomy of China’s Social Sciences (2006); Freedom and Order: Hayekian Social Theories (2012); Hayekian Legal Philosophy (2004); Rules, Order, and Ignorance: Hayekian Liberalism (2009); and China’s Legal Science: Where is it headed (2011)? His works have greatly influenced China ’s social sciences.

Deng’s research interests include legal philosophy, political philosophy, and various social science cross-disciplinary areas. He was the only Chinese scholar whose work was cited across six high ranking social scientific disciplines, e.g., No. 1 in Law, No. 2 in political Sciences, and No. 5 in Sociology (No.1 is Fei Xiaotong), according to A report on academic Influence of the research achievements in humanities and social science in China (China Social Science Publishing House, 2007).

Professor Stephan Feuchtwang's condolences

I have known and admired Deng Zhenglai since the 1980s and am shocked to learn of his death so young. His extraordinary resourcefulness as an academic businessman, an intellectual and a translator were remarkable in any country. I admired him particularly as an intellectual activist. He opened possibilities of discussion across the social sciences, outside and between university departments, in times when established institutes and universities blocked such possibilities. When they opened up within universities, he was able as head of Fudan University’s Institute of Advanced Social Sciences, to further his intellectual entrepreneurship from within a university. It is extremely sad that his adventure has been curtailed. I hope others will be able to take up the challenge of continuing it (28 Jan 2013).   

IAS-Fudan and LSE

  • Professor Lord Anthony Giddens (the former LSE Director) together with  Professor Immanuel Wallerstein (Yale University) are Honorary Directors of the ISA-Fudan.
  • Professor Stephan Feuchtwang is one of the founding members of the Academic Advisory Committee since 2008 when the IAS-Fudan was founded. He donated his books to the IAS-Fudan. He also gave a lecture entitled ' The concept of civilization and civilization of China' in 2009.  
  • Professor Deng Zhenglai was a member of both CCPN Academic Advisory Committee and the International Advisory Board of the The Journal of China in Comparative Perspective (JCCP) and since 2008.  
  • Methodologically, the innovative term 'advanced study on China' that CCPN suggested was partly inspirited by the IAS-Funda's mission.
  • Deng Zhenglai acted as a general discussant at the academic symposium organised by Professors Wang Mingming and Stephan Feuchtewang in 1997, and published a long review article entitled 'State and Society: the construction and limitation of the research framewok', in Wang and Feuchtwang, eds. The order, justice and authority in Chinese society (in Chinese), Beijing: Chinese University of Political Science and Law Press. p608-645. 
  • Deng Zhenglai wrote a blurb for Dr Xiangqun Chang's book Guanxi or Li Shang Wanglai ?: Reciprocity, Social Support Networks, Social Creativity in a Chinese Village, Airiti Press, 2010 ["The great achievements in socio-economic development over the past three decades have attracted worldwide attention to China. Questions about China's development model are becoming a very popular topic with different social scientific disciplines in the age of globalization. Chang Xiangqun's book Guanxi vs Li shang wanglai? can be seen as a "virtual icon" in which the so-called "China model" is embedded. This book can be considered as an excellent result of the author's transdisciplinary training in both China and the West, and also her long term in-depth empirical studies on contemporary China. It is the first Chinese scholar's book in nearly 100 years to systematically challenge important Western social anthropological theories of social exchange and reciprocity" - by Deng Zhenglai]
  • Dr Xi Lin, The 1st student from mainland China who obtained a PhD at the Department of Government, LSE. As a CCPN visiting researcher who worked for CCPN from 2008-11, he became a ISA-Fudan Fellow in 2009. His PhD dissertation Emotions and Politics in Human Society: A Progressive Critique, was published by New Star Press in 2012 
  • Deng Zhenglai maintains a good relationship with LSE Alumini, e.g.,Professor Peng Xizhe (PhD in Population Studies in 1988)  Professor Huang Ping (PhD of Sociology 1991), Professor Shen Guanbao (VF in Anthropology in 1989-90), Professor Song Xinning (VF in International Relations, 1991-92), Professor Qu Tiepeng (VF in STICERD, 1994)etc.. 


When Professor Stephan Feuchtwang and Dr Xiangqun Chang visited IAS-Fudan in 2009 Professor Deng Zhenglai organised a gathering with scholars in Shanghai from the Shanghai Academy of Social Science (SASS), Fudan University, Shanghai University and East China University Of Science And Technology.  

                    *                     *                    *                       *                        * 

The two people in the picture at the bottom right hand column are Professor Stephan Feuchtwang and Professor Deng Zhenglai. Zhenglai told us that this building was called the Guanghua Building and was completed in 2005 for the Centennial celebration of Fudan University. The name 'Guanghua' comes from the Confucian Classics, meaning:  "Itinerant as the twilight, sun glows and moon luminesces" (日月光華,旦復旦兮). It was the origin of the name of Fudan University.  - please check spelling of Guanghua/Guanhua

He then sat on the cement ball of the West side and asked Stephan to sit on the ball on the East side, and said: 'let's exchange views by swapping positions in front of the IAS-Fudan office, which occupies the top level (28th level) of the East tower building. This posture has quadruple meanings'.

Stephan: 'Of what?'

Zhenglai: 'You guess...'     

Note: (1) This page has been updated in memory of Professor Deng Zhenglai's  tremendous contribution to Chinese social sciences and great endeavours in promoting social scientific work between China and the world. 

(2) Look at Zhenglai from multiple perspectives ---- also to memorialize two social theorists who died at a young age from China and Taiwan (in Chinese), by Xiangqun Chang






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