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Zouping Revisited: Change and Continuity in a Chinese County



Thomas P. Bernstein, Professor Emeritus of Government, Columbia University

Mary Brown Bullock, President Emerita, Agnes Scott College

Thomas B. Gold, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley

Douglas Grob, Senior Vice President, Albright Stonebridge Group

Steven M. Goldstein, Sophia Smith Professor Emeritus of Government, Smith College

Charlotte Lee, Faculty Coordinator, Global Studies Program, Berkeley City College

Jean C. Oi, Director, Stanford China Program; William Haas Professor of Chinese Studies, Stanford University

Andrew G. Walder, Denise O’Leary & Kent Thiry Professor, Stanford University

Date and Time

April 5, 2018 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM



Open to the public.

RSVP required by 5PM April 04.


Mackenzie Room

Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Building, 3rd Floor

475 Via Ortega, Stanford, CA 94305



The Oksenberg Lecture, held annually, honors the legacy of Professor Michel Oksenberg (1938–2001). A senior fellow at Shorenstein APARC and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Professor Oksenberg served as a key member of the National Security Council when the United States normalized relations with China, and consistently urged that the United States engage with Asia in a more considered manner. In tribute, the Oksenberg Lecture recognizes distinguished individuals who have helped to advance understanding between the United States and the nations of the Asia-Pacific.


This year, the Oksenberg Conference will be organized around the publication of Zouping Revisited: Adaptive Governance in a Chinese County that has just been published by Stanford University Press. The rural Chinese county of Zouping was a place and topic very dear to Professor Michel Oksenberg’s heart. In 1984, Professor Oksenberg achieved a milestone--obtaining official access for foreign scholars to do research in a rural site in China—the first after Opening and Reform.  Since its opening, eighty-seven U.S. academics have conducted fieldwork in Zouping, generating waves of serious scholarship, resulting in numerous books and articles.  This new volume includes the extensive research notes of Michel Oksenberg, which he sadly was unable to use before he passed away. These notes were used to complete this volume, supplemented with new research by a number of Oksenberg’s own students and his “academic grandchildren.”  It provides a big and clear window onto the surprising changes that have taken place in China over the last two decades of reform.

The conference will convene a panel of China specialists with deep personal and scholarly connections to Zouping who will provide insights into the unfolding history of doing research and fieldwork in China. The panel will also assess through this rural Shandong county the breathtaking as well as surprising changes China has experienced from the 1980s until the present.

For directions to the Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center, please click here.


2:00-2:15 PM: Welcome and Introduction
2:15-3:35 PM:
Panel I: Doing Fieldwork in China: How We Got There and Its Impact

Chair: Prof. Steven Goldstein (Smith College)
·         Prof. Mary Brown Bullock (Committee on Scholarly Communication with the PRC)
·         Prof. Thomas Gold (U.C. Berkeley)
·         Prof. Thomas Bernstein (Columbia University)
·         Prof. Andrew Walder (Stanford University)
3:35-4:55 PM:
Panel II: A Window onto China:  Understanding Continuity and Change

Chair: Prof. Jean Oi (Stanford University)
·         Prof. Jean Oi (Stanford University)
·         Dr. Douglas Grob (Albright Stonebridge Group)
·         Prof. Charlotte Lee (Berkeley City College)
5:00-5:30 PM:  Book signing and sale of Zouping Revisited: Adaptive Governance in a Chinese County



Thomas P. Bernstein taught Chinese politics and comparative communism at Indiana, Yale, and Columbia from 1966 to 2007. After retirement, he moved to Irvine, California with an affiliation at UCI. He has published on Chinese and Soviet collectivization of agriculture, the Great Leap Forward famine and its Soviet counterpart, Chinese youth and education, and on reform era rural politics. He did research in Zouping in 1985. Most recently he co-edited (with Li Hua-yu) China Learns from the Soviet Union, 1949-Present (2010).


Mary Brown Bullock, president emerita of Agnes Scott College,  is an educator and scholar of U.S. – China relations.  She served as the founding executive vice-chancellor of Duke Kunshan University from 2012-2015.  Previous positions include distinguished visiting professor Emory University, director of the Asia Program of the Woodrow Wilson Center, and director of the Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People’s Republic of China. She is vice-chair of the Asia Foundation, a trustee of the Henry Luce Foundation, and a member of the Schwarzman Academic Advisory Committee and the Council on Foreign Relations.  She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Chinese history from Stanford University.  Her most recent publications include The Oil Prince’s Legacy: Rockefeller Philanthropy in China (2011) and as co-editor of Medical Transitions in Twentieth Century China (2014).


Thomas B. Gold is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. He also served as Associate Dean of International and Area Studies. From 2000-2016 he was Executive Director of the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies. His research addresses issues of social and political change on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. He was a member of the first group of American government-sponsored exchange students to China, spending February 1979-February 1980 at Fudan University. He spent a month in Fengjiacun/Zouping County in 1986 looking at sprouts of private entrepreneurship.


Steven M. Goldstein was the Sophia Smith Professor of Government at Smith College from 1968 to 2016. He is now an Associate of the Fairbank Center and the director of the Taiwan Studies Workshop at Harvard University. He has been a visiting faculty member at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Columbia University and United States Naval War College. Goldstein's research interest has been largely related to issues of Chinese domestic and foreign policy. He has published studies of Sino-American relations; Sino-Soviet relations; and the emergence of a Chinese Communist view of world affairs. His current research focus is on the relations between the mainland and Taiwan as well as the evolution of U.S.-Taiwan relations.


Douglas Grob is a Senior Vice President at ASG, where he advises clients on strategy and operational initiatives in China and other parts of the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Grob served as head of the Asia Section of the Congressional Research Service (CRS), a U.S. government agency that provides non-partisan policy research and analytical support to the committees and Members of the U.S. Congress. At CRS, he led a team of senior analysts and researchers developing analytical products that assessed political, security, economic, and social issues in the sub-regions and countries of South, Southeast, and East Asia, and the Pacific. Previously, Mr. Grob served at the U.S. Department of State, where he was a senior advisor on East Asia to the Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights. He also served as Staff Director of the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, established by statute in 2000, as the United States and China normalized trade relations prior to China’s accession to the WTO. Prior to entering public service, Mr. Grob was on the faculty at the University of Maryland, a senior research scholar at the School of Law of Peking University, and a research fellow at the Asia-Pacific Research Center of Stanford University.


Charlotte Lee is the faculty coordinator of the Global Studies Program at Berkeley City College. Prior to that she was the associate director of the China Program at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University and was an assistant professor in the Department of Government at Hamilton College. From 2012-14, she was Minerva Chair in the Department of Political Science at the U.S. Air Force Academy. As Minerva Chair, she conducted research and briefings on issues in U.S.-China relations. In 2013, she was a visiting assistant professor at Shorenstein APARC. Her book, Training the Party: Party Adaptation and Elite Training in Reform-Era China, was released by Cambridge University Press in 2015. She has taught classes on Chinese politics, international relations, geopolitics and comparative politics. She holds a doctorate and master’s degree in political science from Stanford, where she was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. Her bachelor’s degree is in Asian studies and political economy from the University of California, Berkeley.


Jean C. Oi is the William Haas Professor in Chinese Politics in the department of political science and a Senior Fellow of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. She is the founding director of the Stanford China Program at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. Professor Oi also is the founding Lee Shau Kee Director of the Stanford Center at Peking University. Her work focuses on comparative politics, with special expertise on political economy and the process of reform in transitional systems.  Oi has written extensively on China's rural politics and political economy. Her State and Peasant in Contemporary China (University of California Press, 1989) examined the core of rural politics in the Mao period—the struggle over the distribution of the grain harvest—and the clientelistic politics that ensued. Her Rural China Takes Off (University of California Press, 1999) examined the property rights necessary for development and showed how "local state corporatism" facilitated rapid growth of rural industry.


Andrew G. Walder is the Denise O'Leary and Kent Thiry Professor at Stanford University, where he is also a senior fellow in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Previously, he served as chair of the Department of Sociology, and as director of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and of the Division of International, Comparative and Area Studies. A political sociologist, Walder has long specialized on the sources of conflict, stability, and change in communist regimes and their successor states. His publications on China have ranged from the political and economic organization of the Mao era to changing patterns of stratification, social mobility, and political conflict in the post-Mao era. Another focus of his research has been on the political economy of Soviet-type economies and their subsequent reform and restructuring. His current research focuses on popular political mobilization in late-1960s China and the subsequent collapse and rebuilding of the Chinese party-state.


Related links:

China Daily Article on Zouping Research