15th Biennial Conference of Nordic Association for China Studies (NACS)
NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian Studies
14th Annual Nordic NIAS Council Conference (VIRTUAL CONFERENCE)

China’s Rise/Asia’s Responses
10-11 June 2021

China’s power in economic, political, military and cultural terms is mounting. In our contemporary world, this rise in China’s influence has been phenomenal. However, the extent, of its actual impact on Asian countries and societies remain subject to scholarly and practitioner debate. To understand the significance of China’s ascendancy, some would argue, there is a need for concise and accurate analysis of its political, economic, and military engagement, as well as its proclaimed intentions. Tools to conduct such studies on the power and influence of China are, according to some scholars, still missing, and at best, insufficient.

Regardless, what matters is how “actors” (broadly defined to include policy-makers, business people, elites, intellectuals, general public) in different Asian countries perceive, interpret and respond to China’s engagement and use of power. Obviously, some embrace China, while others reject it outright; in addition, there are significant bystanders neither embracing nor rejecting. In any case, how do these Asian actors rationalize their positions? How do they act out their stance towards China? These questions are critical because – voluntarily or involuntarily –  many societal actors assumed to have played a role in making their communities, societies and/or countries become more sinicized, de-sinicized or re-sinicized than before.  If this assumption holds, are these actors collaborators or competitors of China? In what ways, and how, have they enabled or disabled the sinicization, de-sinicization and re-sinicization?

During this two-day interdisciplinary conference, we are welcoming participants to share their findings on how the rise of China occurs, and how China’s rise is perceived, and how different states and societal actors have reacted to it in Asia. Evidence of sinicization, de-sinicization and re-sinicization will be identified and studied.

The theme of the conference reflects our objective; however, scholars are encouraged to think broadly, especially in submissions under the following indicative individual topics of interest:

  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • History
  • Politics and Law
  • Economics
  • Environmental Studies
  • International Relations
  • Translation, Sinology and Linguistics
  • Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language
  • Cinema, Media and Performing Arts
  • Art and Archaeology
  • Gender Studies
  • Literature
  • Philosophy and Religion

Panel Application

We strongly encourage self-organized panels. Panels are expected to stimulate active exchange of ideas. For panel proposals, please include an abstract for the panel as a whole (max 300 words) in addition to individual abstracts for papers to be included in the panel. We also welcome proposals for innovative session formats such as roundtables, debates etc.

Conference organisation and format

The conference runs from 10 to 11 June and will consist of keynotes, panels, and roundtables, while also reserving time for informal discussions and networking. We invite proposals for panels, roundtables, and individual papers on the topics above as well as any related topics. We also welcome suggestions for other formats. The conference offers good opportunities to meet people in the field, network, and informally exchange views and ideas. 

Prior to the conference is a two day PhD course (8-9 June, see separate announcement below).  Participants in the PhD course are expected to also take part in the conference (with or without a paper presentation).

Keynote Speakers

The following speakers will inspire our proceedings:

William A. Callahan, London School of Economics

Camilla T. N. Sørensen,  Royal Danish Defence College

Mette Halskov Hansen, University of Oslo


Conference participation is open to scholars and doctoral candidates in the social sciences and humanities. We encourage contributions with an emphasis on interdisciplinary perspectives.

Practical Information 

Due to Covid-19, the conference and PhD workshop will be conducted remotely. 

Deadlines and Submission Guidelines

25 January 2021: Individual paper abstracts (Max. 250 words)
25 January 2021: Panel abstracts (Max. 300 words), in addition to 250 word abstracts for contributing papers

Please submit your abstract/panel proposal by sending an email to nacsnnc@helsinki.fi by 2pm, January 25, 2021.

Please include the following information in your submitted abstract/panel proposal:
name, title/position, email address and institutional affiliation.

If you plan to submit to PhD workshop, the requirements are here (different from conference submission).