In July 2015, the National Social Science Fund (first batch) awarded a grant to chief expert, Professor Tan Rong of Nankai University for his project, “A Comparative Study on Ways for Political Development in Non-Western Countries.”
Based on the “Non-Western Center Theory,” this project will discuss the ways of political development in non-western countries. There are five sub-topics: (1) The theory and comparative study of ways for political development in non-western countries (Professor Tan Rong of Nankai University); (2) The study of the political development roads in Southeast Asian countries (Professor Chang Shiyin of Tianjin Normal University); (3) The study of ways for political development in South Asian countries mainly India (Associate Professor Chen Jinying of Shanghai International Studies University); (4) The study of ways for political development in Middle Eastern countries (Professor Han Zhibin of Northwest University); (5) The study of political development roads in Latin American countries (Yuan Dongzhen of Institute of Latin American Studies of Chinese Academy of Social Science).
The project will focus on: 1.Theoretical Exploration. Examination and analysis of existing theories about political developments of non-western countries in academia, the basis of comments and judgments on such theories, and theoretical viewpoints will be proposed.
2. The discussion of several problems concerning political development in non-western countries, including: (1) the relations between the roads to modernization and the institution of political development in non-western countries; (2) the issues of social integration in process of modernization in non-western countries; (3) the influence of political development from the history and culture of non-western countries; (4) the current political structure and political development in non-western countries; (5) the statutes and functions of armies in the progress of political developments in non-western countries; (6) the relations of nation and society in process of political development in non-western countries.
3. The research refers to two theoretical issues. The first relates to “westernization”. The majority of non-western countries experienced or is experiencing some sort of “westernization”. Understanding that “westernization” does not mean that the non-western countries have taken on every trait of western countries. That would be westernization is inevitable or that they would go through the same political development as western countries. The functional structure characteristics and realities of political structures in non-western countries illustrate that institutional structure appearances are not equal to the road to “westernization”. The second is about “authoritarian politics.” Most of non-western countries have gone through or are going through the process of authoritarian politics. In order to explain the reason why most of non-western countries have experienced or are experiencing the process from theory and reality to terms on account of political, economic, social, cultural factors, the connotation and types of authoritarian politics will be defined.
The research approach and methods of this project are: (1) Combining research methods in politics and history, as well as comprehensive application of research approaches in economic, social, religion and international relations, etc. (2) Regional and national research. Analyzing political development roads and various problems in different regions and nations, and summarizing the particularities and inherent laws. (3) Comparative Study. Comparing the political development with different regions and nations, with western developed countries, to summarize the internal reasons why non-western countries cannot follow the way of western countries. (4) Attempt to adopt a structure-function method, systems theory and historical institutionalism, etc. (5) on the basic of empirical and comparative study, the project will mainly adopt qualitative research methods to extract and purify regular connotations and theoretical perspectives.
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