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Our research

High quality, high impact and innovative research lies at the heart of what we do. This includes work on the development of Chinese domestic politics, Chinese international relations, Chinese society and its internal dynamics, and on Chinese economic development.

Some of this is in partnership with partners in China, from the Shanghai Academic of Social Sciences to Wuhan University and Renmin University, Beijing. We also work with affiliations and associations from across the King’s community to facilitate their research interests within Greater China.

Our current research topics

  • Understanding migration issues within China and India
  • Analysing the Belt and Road Initiative and its impact on contemporary Europe
  • Exploring the social and political outcomes of climate change in China
  • Deliving into the developments of land ownership changes

Our current projects

Rapid economic change since reforms started in 1978 in contemporary China has also led to profound social change. Before and after 1978, at least in terms of inter-personal relationships and the inner lives of Chinese people, China often looks like a wholly different place. And while some structures (eg extended family and the trust invested in this) have proved enduring, other structures (eg public belief systems and social hierarchies) have gone by the wayside.

Our research aims to look at the ways in which understanding and characterising personality and disorders arising from rapid unbanisation in Europe and the US can be compared to Chinese diagnostic discourses. We focus on more common forms of mental health issues to establish the role of culture and belief systems in the ways these are conceptualised and then treated in China.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been the signature foreign policy idea during Xi Jinping leadership. It has allowed the outside world to better understand what China’s considers to be its own vision of its role in the wider world.

Our research, funded partly by the British Academy small grants, seeks to better understand the ways the BRI has impacted key geographies in Eastern Europe. We seek to gain evidence of the economic and geopolitical implications of this major idea, through empirical evidence and an analytical understanding and interpretation of it.

Our ongoing research looks at comparing domestic migration patterns within India and China. There is a lack of empirical material looking at common challenges between these two increasingly important countries. We seek to understand the drivers of mobility within China and India, and how they are similar or differ from each other.

Chinese overseas direct investment into the European Union and Europe is one of the most significant new economic developments in the last two decades. Our research involves the gathering of credible statistics on what kinds of investment might be coming from China, from which entities, and where it is going in terms of countries and partners.


Selected publications


More publications

An overview of our research

An overview of our research can be found in 'China’s 19th Party Congress: Start of a New Era’, published by World Scientific, Singapore, in 2018. This includes chapters by our core staff on corruption in China, environmental issues, geopolitics, the Belt and Road Initiative, and land and property rights.

Chinas 19th party congress book cover

Why does understanding China matter?

In May 2019, Professor Kerry Brown talked at TEDx in Thessaloniki on why China matters in the modern era. This includes China's economic influences, as well as its contribution to the tourism industry. China is also a human story – the story of the rise of a nation after the rough modern history and the aspirations of Chinese people.

Research across the Global Institutes

Our cross-cutting thematic research groups, which bring together members from across the five institutes, bring a diverse approach to some of the most pressing issues facing the world today.

Aerial Skyscrapers

Discover the Lau China Institute

News and events from the King's Global Institutes