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Repressive Experiences among China Scholars: New Evidence from Survey Data

  • Sheena Chestnut Greitens (a1) and Rory Truex (a2)

Abstract

This paper examines the nature of China's current research climate and its effects on foreign scholarship. Drawing on an original survey of over 500 China scholars, we find that repressive research experiences are a rare but real phenomenon and collectively present a barrier to the conduct of research in China. Roughly 9 per cent of China scholars report that they have been “invited to tea” by authorities within the past ten years; 26 per cent of scholars who conduct archival research report being denied access; and 5 per cent of researchers report some difficulty obtaining a visa. The paper provides descriptive information on the nature of these experiences and their determinants. It concludes with a discussion of self-censorship and strategies for conducting research on China.

本文考察了中国当前的研究环境及其对国外学术研究带来的影响。通过对全球 500 多名从事中国研究的学者的问卷调查,我们发现政府对外国研究人员的阻挠和干扰是一个虽然罕见但真实存在的现象。这些干扰对学者的研究构成了极大的阻碍。在我们的样本中,大约 9% 的学者表示在过去的十年里曾被当局邀请 “去喝茶”; 26% 的学者称在进行档案研究时不被允许查阅所需材料; 5% 的研究人员表示在获得签证上遭遇困难。本文提供了有关这些经历的描述性信息,并分析了影响它们的决定性因素。本文在结论部分进一步探讨了自我审查的现象,同时为从事中国研究的学者们提供了一些应对策略。

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Email: rtruex@princeton.edu (corresponding author).

References

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