Introduction: Political Science and Chinese Political Studies – The State of the Field
New developments in Chinese political studies over the past three decades suggest the field might be at a crossroads. Scholars and students alike still vividly remember texts used in graduate school and innumerable papers published by first rate comparativists such as Gabriel Almond, Sydney Verba, David Apter, Seymour Martin Lipset, Arendt Lijphart, David Collier, James Mahon, Giovanni Satori, Gary King, David Easton, and many others. All of them have had a great impact on how we study China and Chinese politics. In the area of IR, many IR theorists, such as Hans Morgenthau, Kenneth Waltz, Robert Keohane, Robert Gilpin, Joseph Nye, Robert Jervis, Stephen Krasner, Francis Fukuyama, and others have influenced how we study China and its foreign policy behavior. However, on the other hand, we have observed that many Chinese scholars have challenged the applicability of western paradigms, theories, concepts, and methods for studying China, and have attempted to develop a “Chinese school” within the academic disciplines of political science and international relations, often emphasizing China’s uniqueness, national identity, intellectual tradition, local knowledge and national contexts in the study of Chinese politics. It is time to examine and evaluate the state of Chinese political studies—i.e., what the field has been, where it is now, and where it is going in the future, including its achievements, challenges, and trends.