Below is a list of projects that members of CEAS are currently involved with:
- Title: Colonialism in comparative perspective: Tianjin under nine flags, 1860-1949
Lead Applicants: Robert Bickers
Summary:The resurgence of interest in the practices and legacies of colonialism has seen much attention paid to the insights comparative perspectives draw. Nevertheless, in practice, there has been very little empirically focused, detailed and truly comparative scholarship, especially with regards to Chinese cities. A 3-year research project, led by Dr Maurizio Marinelli (University of Bristol) and funded by the ESRC, will start in September 2008 and comprise a team of 8 researchers. The project will take advantage of the opportunities offered for a comparative analytical approach by the Chinese port city of Tianjin. Between 1860 and 1945, Tianjin was the site of up to nine foreign-controlled concessions, as well as, temporarily, a multi-national military government (1900-02), and a series of evolving municipal administrations. The research aims at producing a comparative and trans-national analysis of the identities, practices and rivalries of five of the major powers established in Tianjin: Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Russia. The project will provide powerful new insights into the understanding of colonial history, as well as the history of China, and will produce work with crossover value between a variety of different subfields of history and political science. Three international conferences, three monographs, two edited collections of papers and a number of journal articles are promised.
- Title: The British Inter-University China Centre (BICC)
Funder: ESRC, Higher Education Funding Council for England, AHRC
Lead Applicants: Robert Bickers, Frank Pieke, and Bill Callahan
Summary: Awarded in 2006, BICC is a joint venture between Bristol, Oxford and Manchester collaboration between the universities of Oxford, Bristol and Manchester to develop the UK's premier teaching and research facility on China. It is funded at a total of almost £5 million for the five-year lifespan of the grant, with a further £50,000 from HEFCE specifically for undergraduate teaching. BICC’s mission is threefold. It aims to expand undergraduate and postgraduate teaching of Chinese language and Chinese area studies, facilitate the performance of original research in Chinese studies, and initiate a broad range of dissemination and outreach activities, particularly but not exclusively in the UK. BICC brings together three leading universities that each have already embarked on major strategic investments in Chinese studies. The Centre builds upon the partners’ unique strengths in China studies, particularly in politics, international relations, development and social studies, modern and classical Chinese language, culture and history. The partner institutions also have considerable expertise in Chinese economics and business studies. In addition to two research posts in Chinese Culture and Chinese International Political Economy, Bristol also has several PhD studentships as a part of this project.
- Title: Improving Educational Evaluation and Quality in China (IEEQC)
Lead Applicant: Professor Sally Thomas
Summary: This ESRC/DfID funded research project is led by Prof Sally Thomas and Dr Wen Jung Peng, in collaboration with China National Institute for Educational Research (CNIER), Beijing. The study aims are to investigate the nature and extent of school effectiveness in China using innovative quantitative methodology (multilevel modelling) and the local application of innovative school evaluation methods to educational policy and practice in rural and urban secondary schools. The research seeks to provide new insights and extend current theories about (i) the impact of student characteristics, classroom, school and contextual factors on students attainment and progress at school, (ii) the relevance of these factors in the evaluation of school performance in China and (iii) how western approaches to evaluating educational quality have been adapted and developed to take account of local contexts and priorities. It aims to provide quality in-depth data to enhance understanding of the complex nature of school effectiveness in China and how local context may play a key role in determining definitions of educational effectiveness and quality through two interrelated studies, and a systematic literature review, thereby addressing the lack of previous research on these topics. For further information, see the project's website: http://ieeqc.bristol.ac.uk
- Title: New ESRC Grant-Housing assets and inter-generational dynamics in East Asian societies
Funder: Economic and Social Research Council
Lead Applicant: Ray Forrest and Misa Izuhara
Summary: Rising home ownership rates, volatile property markets, increasingly deregulated financial systems and changing social norms have combined to produce important new ingredients in the shaping of advantage and opportunity in contemporary societies. This cross-national, comparative research project focuses on this critical area of social science debate - how wealth acquired in this way contributes to novel forms of social stratification and intergenerational dynamics. The research has two main aims: First, it will contribute to filling a gap in theory and the general literature by exploring the ways, and extent to which, housing wealth is mobilised and deployed as a family resource across and within generations. Second, it will provide new and specific knowledge about these processes within East Asian societies. The research involves fieldwork in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo.The two year study commences in January 2007
- Title: The Future of Home Ownership in Japan
Funder:Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation Small Grant
Lead Applicant:Misa Izuhara
Summary:This project focused on the 'future of home ownership' in Japan. In particular, it examines three areas regarding housing assets: 1) women and their accumulation of housing assets in the context of family change and social change; 2) housing assets in old age in relation to their long term care need; and 3) the relationship between housing (assets) and social policy - the above separate inquiries hang together in a wider context of the interaction between housing and social policy. This was the preliminary research which planned to highlight key debates in housing in contemporary Japan and to generate themes for future and further research.
- Title: Care and Inheritance in Britain and Japan: The Younger Generation's Perspective
Funder: Economic and Social Research Council
Lead Applicant: Misa Izuhara
Summary: This research builds upon the previous research among older people and will complete the whole picture of the 'generational contract', exchanging long-term care and inheritance between older parents and their adult children by interviewing the younger generations. This is a cross-national, comparative research that continues to explore the myth of the 'generational contract' and its changing patterns in the context of different culture, laws, policy and housing markets in Britain and Japan. Given the complex and dynamic nature of family relations, it examines whether people's attitudes match their practices, and whether the views and expectations of the younger generation match the intention of their parents using a qualitative methods of inquiry. How the family-state boundaries are shifting in terms of social care delivery, and how policies intervene people's decision-making process and their outcomes regarding inheritance are also evaluated.
- Title: Neighbourhood and Social Cohesion in Guangzhou, China
Funder: Strategic Research Grant, City University of Hong Kong and British Academy
Lead Applicant: Ray Forrest
Co-researchers: Adrienne La Grange, Yip, Ngai-ming
Summary: The research programme on the role and meaning of neighbourhood in contemporary Chinese society has been extended with the award of a new grant by the City University of Hong Kong-with additional support from the British Academy. Ray Forrest will be working with Adrienne La Grange and Yip Ngai Ming (City University) on a project which develops the work on neighbourhood change which has been undertaken in Hong Kong. Guangzhou is one of the fastest growing cities in the world and this work will explore issues of cohesion and community in this particularly dynamic urban context with substantial immigration and new development. At the core of the new project is a social survey of 1000 individuals spread across three neighbourhood types (older community in city centre, newer commercial housing, work unit housing).
- Title: A Comparative Study of Women's Material Assets in Japan and Britain
Funder(s): Institute for Research on Household Economics (Japan) and the Japans Women's University
Lead Applicant: Patricia Kennett
Co-researcher: Misa Izuhara
Summary: Housing and land have become main sources of asset accumulation and cultural capital, citizenship and identity. It is traditionally a sphere of consumption from which women have been excluded and from which they have been unable to enjoy financial rewards. However, in both Britain and Japan more women are gaining access to housing/land ownership and other material assets. This study will develop a comparative framework in order to expand our understanding of the extent and nature of the assets of women in Britain and Japan, with a particular focus on housing/property and land. Through a national social survey and an analysis of secondary data sets it will establish the distribution of assets amongst women, how the assets were accumulated, the benefits accruing from the assets and whether in the context of changing welfare regimes they are increasing or decreasing security for women .
- Title: The History of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service
Funder(s): Arts and Humanities Research Board
Lead Applicant: Robert Bickers
Summary: This major £300k three-year grant (2003-2006) further develops work already funded by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation underpinning an international collaboration with partners in Cambridge and at the Second Historical Archives of China. The Archives holds the voluminous records of the formerly British-dominated Chinese Maritime Customs Service, an agency of the Chinese state from 1854-1949. The project has developed a new catalogue to the 55,000-item collection, a major set of online resources, and is generating new datasets from previously unknown raw data, as well as guides to the Service, and a number of research papers. Overall the project is designed to further understandings of the modern Chinese state, British imperial history, and the history of an internationalising China, focusing on the role the Chinese Maritime Customs Service played in these historical processes. At Bristol the project employs Dr Weipin Tsai as research fellow, while Catherine Ladds is developing a PhD on British careers in the service. The Cambridge team is led by Dr Hans van de Ven.