CfP: CHESS Young Scholars Conference 2015, February 27-28, Vienna


Responding to China’s Environmental Crisis:  Interdisciplinary Approaches

Organized by CHESS ( C hina and the E nvironment in the S ocial S ciences)


Hosted by the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Vienna, Austria

27-28 February 2015


Confirmed keynote speakers:

Yu Xiaogang, Green Watershed

Andrew Mertha, Cornell University [new]


Deadline extended until 7 December 2014


Submissions are welcomed for the inaugural CHESS Young Scholars Conference to be held at the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Vienna on 27-28 February 2015.


CHESS ( C hina and the E nvironment in the S ocial S ciences) is an interdisciplinary research network for scholars from across the social sciences with research interests relating to environmental issues in China. Both the network and the conference provide a forum for graduate students and young scholars to discuss ideas, exchange information and to strengthen professional networks across the field.


China faces a multitude of environmental challenges, ranging from biophysical impacts of climate change, deforestation and water scarcity, to impacts on health and social stability resulting from pollution, land contamination and overexploitation of natural resources. Rapid industrialization and lax environmental oversight have exacerbated these problems exponentially, leaving the country in a position of acute environmental crisis and unsustainable development.


The CHESS Young Scholars Conference 2015 aims to investigate and formulate new theorizations of environmental dynamics in China through a critical analysis of actors, institutions and processes across and between spatial dimensions from the local to the international level, taking into account the political, economic and social contexts in which they operate. A key element of the conference is the broad interdisciplinary nature of its panels, drawing from across the social sciences in order to utilize a diverse array of theoretical and methodological approaches. To allow for a holistic perspective, contributions from political science, sociology, economics, anthropology, law and other disciplines addressing environmental issues in the PRC and/or Taiwan are highly encouraged.


Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • China on the world stage: international environmental and climate change diplomacy
  • Environmental governance in rural and urban areas
  • Changing roles of state, market, and civil actors
  • The Chinese environmental movement: actors and trends
  • Greening China’s economy: tools, policies, and marketization strategies

Options for further collaboration and possible joint publications will be discussed during the conference.


Important Information

Applicants are required to submit an abstract (max. 300 words) and a short biography (max. 150 words) in English to by 7 December 2014. Travel and accommodation costs must be borne by the participants. Please contact the conference organisers at the above email address with any additional queries. More information and a detailed schedule will be provided closer to the conference date.

Conference venue: Department of East Asian Studies, University of Vienna, Austria

Contact and abstract submission:

Conference website:

Abstracts due: 30 November 2014 7 December 2014

Notification of acceptance: 10 December 2014

Full papers due: 11 February 2015

Conference dates: 27-28 February 2015