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China’s future: Smart State and Strong Society - a Review of the Wenchuan Earthquake Response

The Harvard-Yenching Institute presents Qiang Zhang.

January 26, 2012 12:00pm to 12:00am

A talk by Prof. Zhang Qiang (Government, Beijing Normal University; HYI Visiting Scholar 2011-12)

Discussant: Prof. Arnold Howitt (Harvard Kennedy School)

Frequent catastrophes have challenged China’s public policy and social management. Various policy dilemmas caused by specific crises and the limitation of the top-down policy-making system urge us to reconsider the interaction among state strength and social power while coping with disasters. Due to heavy social impact and economic damage, the government cannot take on full responsibility, and the boundaries between government and society need to be redefined. 2008 has been called the first year of an era of civil society (volunteering) in China because of the huge impact of the Wenchuan earthquake and the Olympic games on civil society development. By integrating a series of empirical studies on the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, this talk aims to explore a possible roadmap for transition from a model of “strong state and weak society” to “smart state and strong society” in China. Professor Zhang attempts to reveal the corresponding challenges and opportunities through reviewing the development of China's emergency management system.

Phone Number: 
(617) 495-4050