“Debate on Bridging Academic Studies and Policy Research in International Politics” Held in the North Pavilion
Author：Li Boran Date：2018-11-27
On the afternoon of November 21st, 2018, the symposium themed “Debate on Bridging Academic Studies and Policy Research in International Politics”, which is sponsored by the Institute of International and Strategic Studies (IISS), Peking University (PKU), was held in the North Pavilion of PKU. Participants attending the symposium included: Wang Jisi, President of the IISS, PKU and Professor of the School of International Studies (SIS), PKU, Guo Lin, Director of the Office of Bases and Institutions, the Office of Humanities and Social Sciences, PKU, Wang Yizhou, Professor of the SIS, PKU, Wang Yong, Professor of the SIS, PKU, Zhang Liping, Deputy Director of the Counsellors' Office of the State Council, Yang Shu, Professor and Director of the Institute of Central Asian Studies, Lanzhou University, Wang Shuai, Researcher Fellow of the National Institute of International Strategy, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Zhao Kejin, Vice President of the School of Social Sciences and Director of the Department of International Relations, Tsinghua University, Li Wei, Professor of the School of International Studies, Renmin University of China, Zhao Minghao, Research Fellow of the China Center for Contemporary World Studies, the Internal Department, Central Committee of CPC, Lei Shaohua, Associate Professor of the SIS and Special Research Fellow of the IISS, PKU, Liu Haifang, Associate Professor of the SIS, PKU, Qian Xuemei, Associate Professor of the SIS and Special Research Fellow of the IISS, PKU, Gui Xiangtao, Assistant President of the IISS and Vice President and Associate Professor of the SIS, PKU, and Zhuang Junju, Editorial Director and Associate Senior Editor of The Journal of International Studies.
The first section of the symposium focused on the personal understanding of dealing with the relationship between policy research and academic research, as well as the experience that can be learned from the field of international political research at home and abroad, and was presided over by Associate Prof. Gui Yongtao. In the speech session, Prof. Wang Jisi said that domestic theoretical research lacks new ideas. There are many research topics, but their academic quality is not satisfactory. Academic research is about clarifying facts and causal relationships and deriving the next step, while policy research is required to provide measures to solve problems. Prof. Wang Yizhou held that there are many repeated studies in the field of policy research in China. Academic research should be prudent and rational, and should reveal the diversity and uncertainty of the world. Associate Prof. Liu Haifang introduced some of his experience in writing policy reports based on his experience of conducting field research in African countries. Prof. Wang Yong said that policy research should be based on academic research and be more targeted. In addition, the methodology of social science research needs further innovation. The public opinion environment should also be more conducive to the implementation of national policies.
The second section of the symposium focused on the need for academic research in policy research and the promotion of policy research by academic research, the section was presided over by Zhuang Junju. In the speech session, Wang Shuai said that scholars should not only make contacts with the government but also conduct more field research at a grass-root level. He held that the current problems in the field of policy research include the lack of pre-assessment and post-assessment, the over-dependence on historical experience and inability to keep up with changes, information asymmetry, and others. Zhao Minghao pointed out that policy research should solve three problems, those of pattern, trend, and policy. Prof. Yang Shu held that in theoretical research, we need to improve or refute existing theories, and propose new theories in combination with practice. Prof. Zhao Kejin held that there should be a platform between academic research and policy research to help the two complement each other. He also expressed his views on the differences between pure academic research, strategic research, policy research, and tactic research. Prof. Li Wei held that there is no clear distinction between think tanks and universities in China; the boom of Western theoretical research has ended; the government's need for policy research has increased significantly; the emergence of new social media has caused polarization of public opinion. He also pointed out that academic research and policy research can promote each other.
Editor: Li Fangqi, photography: Zheng Peijie
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