The Field of Guanxi Studies

DATES: March 6–7, 2015

LOCATIONS: Friday, March 6: 180 Doe Library
Saturday, March 7: 1995 University Avenue, Suite 510

ORGANIZERS: Professor Thomas B. Gold, Sociology, UC Berkeley
Professor Lizhu Fan, Sociology, Fudan University and Managing Associate Director, Fudan-UC Center on Contemporary China

SPONSOR: Institute of East Asian Studies



Even as China becomes an ever-more significant player on the world stage, its inner workings become ever-more intriguing. "Guanxi," the often complex, multi-layered network of personal relationships that shape life and labor from the humblest village to the pinnacle of power, continues to be key in understanding China today. Since the publication in 2002 of Social Connections in China: Institutions, Culture, and the Changing Nature of Guanxi, edited by Thomas Gold, Doug Guthrie and David Wank, a distinct "field of guanxi studies" has emerged involving scholars from the social sciences, business and area studies. This conference draws together more than a dozen experts from around the world to share their recent research and thinking about guanxi, its historical and cultural foundations and contemporary evolution along with China's reform and globalization.

Free and open to the public. Wheelchair accessible.

This conference was made possible by the generous support of the Fudan-UC Center on Contemporary China.

The conference organizers gratefully acknowledge additional support from The Top University Strategic Alliance (TUSA), Taiwan and The Center for Chinese Studies, UC Berkeley


Friday, March 6, 2015: 180 Doe Library

9:00 – 9:15 am

Welcoming Remarks
Thomas Gold, UC Berkeley
FAN Lizhu, Fudan University

9:15 – 10:45 am

  • CHEN Na, Fudan University, discusses Dyadic Characteristics of Guanxi and their Consequences by Jack Barbalet, Hong Kong Baptist University
  • Jack Barbalet, Hong Kong Baptist University, discusses The Overlapping Development of Guanxi: A Historical Analysis on the Clientelistic Relationship in Chinese Society by CHEN Na, Fudan University
  • Discussion

Coffee Break

11:00 – 12:30 pm

  • Mike Peng, University of Texas, Dallas, discusses The Dynamics of Political Embeddedness in China by Heather Haveman, University of California; Berkeley, JIA Nan, University of Southern California; SHI Jing, Australian National University; and WANG Yongxiang, University of Southern California
  • Heather Haveman, University of California, Berkeley, discusses Behind the Length of Contract During Market Transitions by Mike Peng, University of Texas, Dallas; EN Xie, Xi’an Jiaotong University; and Brian Pinkham, Western University
  • Discussion

Lunch Break: 12:30 – 2:00 pm

2:00 – 3:30 pm

  • David Wank, Sophia University, discusses ‘Four Dishes and Soup’: Using the Power of Guanxi as a Mechanism for Combatting China’s Burgeoning Epidemic of Chronic Disease by Elanah Uretsky, George Washington University
  • Elanah Uretsky, George Washington University, discusses The Evolution of Guanxi Practice, ca. 1970s- 2000s: Economic Transformation and Time Efficiency by David Wank, Sophia University
  • Discussion

Coffee Break

3:45 – 5:15 pm

  • ZHOU Xueguang, Stanford University, discusses Styles of Guanxi as Governance in Grassroots Institutions in Contemporary China by Sophia Woodman, University of Edinburgh
  • Sophia Woodman, University of Edinburgh, discusses From Formal Structure to Social Capital in the Chinese Bureaucracy: Concepts, Measures and Patterns by ZHOU Xueguang and LU Qinglian (Angela), Stanford University
  • Discussion

Saturday, March 7, 2015: IEAS, 1995 University Avenue, Berkeley

9:00 – 10:30 am

  • PAN Tianshu, Fudan University, discusses The Increase in Job-search Networks in China 1978-2009 by BIAN Yanjie and ZHANG Lei, University of Minnesota and Xi’an Jiaotong University
  • BIAN Yanjie, University of Minnesota, discusses Beyond Guanxi: Ethnographic Perspectives from Research on "Stigma"/"Shame of Illness" and the Challenges of Mental Health Care-giving in Urban Shanghai by PAN Tianshu, Fudan University
  • Discussion

Coffee Break

10:45 – 12:15 pm

  • QI Xiaoying, Hong Kong Baptist University, discusses Guanxi, Weiqi and Chinese Strategic Thinking by PAN Zhongqi, Fudan University
  • PAN Zhongqi, Fudan University, discusses Guanxi and Social Movements by QI Xiaoying, Hong Kong Baptist University
  • Discussion

Lunch Break: 12:15 – 1:30 pm

1:30 – 3:00 pm

  • James Farrer, Sophia University, Tokyo, discusses Guanxi’s Gravity: The Colonial Endeavour, Survival, and Morality in 21st Century Xinjiang by Tom Cliff, Australian National University
  • Tom Cliff, Australian National University, discusses Intercultural Guanxi: Guanxi Practice as Boundary Work by James Farrer, Sophia University, Tokyo
  • Discussion

Coffee Break

3:15 – 4:45 pm

  • FAN Xiucheng, Fudan University, discusses From Goudui to Beijing: Notes on Guanxi and Class Formation in the PRC by John Osburg, University of Rochester
  • John Osburg, University of Rochester, discusses Guanxi, Commercial Friendship and Relationship Marketing in B2C Service Settings by FAN Xiucheng, Fudan University
  • Discussion

Coffee Break

5:00 – 5:45 pm
Concluding Roundtable

Richard Madsen, UC San Diego
SU Yang, UC Irvine
YAN Yunxiang, UC Los Angeles
YANG Mayfair, UC Santa Barbara

5:45 – 6:00 pm

Closing Remarks
Thomas Gold, UC Berkeley
FAN Lizhu, Fudan University

Conference Adjourns: 6:00 pm

Download a copy of the agenda here.



Dyadic Characteristics of Guanxi and their Consequences
Research on guanxi is conducted principally within the disciplines of anthropology, business studies and sociology. It typically takes the form of empirical case studies, applications of extrinsic theory and literature reviews cum trend reports. The present paper, on the other hand, provides an analysis of guanxi in consideration of its elemental relations, components and properties. Discussion indicates the limitations of treatments of guanxi in terms of guanxi bases, tie-strength and the conveyance of influence and information. In establishing the characteristic features of guanxi discussion then turns to its form and role in marketized exchanges, in civic engagement and as an option or choice of commitment for persons and groups in contemporary China.

BIAN Yanjie and ZHANG Lei
The Increase in Job-Search Networks in China, 1978–2009
This paper, for the first time in the research of Chinese social networks, documents and analyzes an increasing trend of job-search networks in China from 1978 to 2009. Job-search networks supply information and favoritism, both increasing over time. The growing trends parallel the rise and growth of the non-state sector, but are constrained by the improvement in formalized rules of meritocracy used to screen job applicants. Persons from humble and socially disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to use social contacts for jobs, whereas the highly educated are less likely to do so.

The Overlapping Development of Guanxi: A Historical Analysis on the Clientelistic Relationship in Chinese Society
Guanxi is a long tradition in Chinese society. As society changes, the feature of Guanxi changes. To better understand the Guanxi phenomenon in today's China, it is necessary to study its history and historical changes. In traditional rural society, an important form of Guanxi is "traditional rural clientelism", which refers to the negotiated power relationship between the landlord and the tenant. Based on fieldwork data and other literature, this paper examines the overlapping development of clientelism in three historical stages — "traditional rural clientelism", "socialist rural clientelism", and "reform-edition clientelism", that is, the changing clientelism in traditional rural China, in the collectivized rural China, and in the on-going post-Mao reform.

Guanxi's Gravity: The Colonial Endeavour, Survival, and Morality in 21st Century Xinjiang
Many Han in Korla, South Xinjiang, feel that guanxi is crucial to shaping, if not determining, their life chances. As such, I suggest that guanxi networks (guanxi wang关系网) are integral to the informal governance structures of the party and state, and may be conceived of as an institution in the sociological sense. Being bottom-up as well as top-down, and intangible but with very tangible effects, Han guanxi networks are particularly resilient and transformative, and consequently play an important role in making Xinjiang more like the core area of China—part of a process that I term "normalisation." "Gravity," in the title, thus refers to the centripetal forces acting on Xinjiang society as a result of the normalisation of certain guanxi practices, as well as to the importance, in terms of individual survival and social reproduction, of having "good guanxi." Also of grave importance is the question of the morality of guanxi practices, the answer to which is not always self evident to those engaged in such practices (everyone in China). The question of morality is particularly relevant in view of recent events in China, not least the most concerted and high-level "anti-corruption, anti-decadence" drive, and factional purge, to be undertaken since the early reform era.

FAN Xiucheng
Guanxi, Commercial Friendship and Relationship Marketing in B2C Service Settings
In the last two decades, relationship marketing has emerged as a new paradigm for marketing academia and practitioners around the world. Long-term relationships with customers are perceived as the key to business success. Personal relationship between service provider and customer are more important than loyalty programs in many cases. During service encounters the customer can easily develop commercial friendships with the service providers through interaction. This study will compare the differences and similarities between Guanxi and commercial friendship, and analyzing the antecedents and consequences of commercial friendship.

Intercultural Guanxi: Guanxi Practice as Boundary Work
This paper idea investigates how guanxi works in cross-cultural contexts. A qualitative study, involving interviewing over 300 international migrants/expatriates/sojourners in Shanghai over several years yields insights regarding their social networks and how they use them in various arenas including employment, friendship, sexuality, and business dealings.

Heather A. HAVEMAN, JIA Nan, SHI Jing, and WANG Yongxiang
The Dynamics of Political Embeddedness in China
Over the past 35 years, markets developed rapidly in China, creating new business opportunities, increasing competition, and heightening uncertainty. But the political system remained autocratic and became decentralized, which gave local officials authority over local businesses and increased their dependence on business to meet official growth targets. We argue that as market development proceeded, politically embedded firms (those with ties to state authorities) bore lower regulatory burdens and had easier access to state-controlled resources, faced less uncertainty, and could more easily grasp new opportunities; therefore, they performed better than politically unembedded firms. Political embeddedness was especially important in more competitive markets because there was more uncertainty there, and for smaller firms because they were not well-positioned to handle increased competition. We investigate two causal mechanisms: access to bank loans and protection from pressures to make loans to business-group members. Analysis of panel data from 1992 to 2007 on all listed firms supports our arguments about firm performance and both causal mechanisms. These results indicate that connections between economic and state actors have highly contingent effects — strong in some contexts, for some firms — and that they operate through flows of funds into and out of firms.

From Goudui (勾兑) to Beijing (背景): Notes on Guanxi and Class Formation in the PRC
Based on ongoing research with a group of wealthy businessmen in southwest China, this paper examines recent transformations in guanxi from their perspective. I begin by describing the dominant form of guanxi cultivation in the business world during the 90s and 2000s, referred to as goudui in southwest China. I argue that goudui practices were open to a rather wide class spectrum, sometimes bringing together peasant farmers with government officials, who relied upon assumed shared tastes and cultural idioms to frame their alliances. However, as the second generation rich (fuerdai) has come of age in the past decade, this once rather open field of building connections through entertaining, gift giving, and mutually beneficial partnerships has narrowed considerably. Guanxi building practices among the elite have shifted to more exclusive domains of consumption (golf, wine, auto clubs, etc.) rendering them inaccessible to non-elite groups. Increasingly entrepreneurs I have interviewed use the term beijing to capture this exclusive form of guanxi, which is ultimately derived from family background. I hypothesize that the recent corruption crackdown by Xi Jinping, which has effectively (though perhaps only temporarily) insulated officialdom from most external ties, will only exacerbate this trend.

PAN Tianshu
Beyond Guanxi: Ethnographic Perspectives from Research on "Stigma"/"Shame of Illness" and the Challenges of Mental Health Care-giving in Urban Shanghai
Drawing upon ethnographic research on stigmatization and mental health, this paper discusses the limits and strengths of guanxi for achieving and maintaining rapport with patients and their caretakers, volunteers, social workers, and medical professionals. As a meaning laden-term, guanxi is context-specific and needs to be unpacked for the purpose of clarifying its actual role and function in facilitating dynamic relationships during fieldwork. By way of reflecting on episodes of field encounter in different local settings, this paper provides a realistic understanding of guanxi as both a rhetorical device and relational indicator with strong moral and ethical implications.

PAN Zhongqi
The Logic of Rationality and China's Foreign Strategy
I will try to sketch out a framework of analysis on China's foreign strategy from a perspective of mindset or way of thinking. China differs from the US or European countries in that their planning on foreign strategy follows different logics. China's underlying way of thinking is that maintaining a good relationship with other states is more appropriate and desirable than changing their domestic governance according to China's internal norms, as well as rules, laws, and institutions. While China prioritizes a good relationship with other countries, it does not prefer to make them Chinanized by imposing its internal norms on them. As China applies its logic of relationality to international relations, its actions aim to optimize relationships rather than transactions, which is preferred by the modern West who uses its preponderance of power to optimize its side of each transaction. The logic of relationality sheds lights on China's foreign strategies towards the US, as epitomized by the new type of great country relationship concept, China's initiatives of "one belt and one road", China's networking of partnerships with various states. It also can explain why China's relations with Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines getting deteriorated recently with regard to China's maritime territorial claims.

Mike W. PENG, EN Xie, Brian PINKHAM
Behind the Length of Contract During Market Transitions
The length of contract is a solid indicator of the comprehensiveness of a contract. What determines the length of contract governing buyer-supplier relationships during market transitions? By integrating transaction costs economics with the embeddedness perspective and the institution-based view, we develop a model that incorporates specific investments and perceived opportunism, strategies to select suppliers, and buyer firms’ confidence in the institutional environment. We further posit that buyer firms’ dependence on suppliers moderates these relationships. We hypothesize that these factors influence the length of contract with suppliers through a moderated mediating model. Our data are collected nationwide via face-to-face interviews with 328 executives in 164 Chinese firms who shared information about 774 buyer-supplier contracts. We find that all the proposed factors significantly influence the length of contract. Overall, we suggest that scholars adopt an explicit lens of contracts when probing deeper into the intriguing use of contracts in buyer-supplier relationships during market transitions.

QI Xiaoying
Social Movements and Guanxi
There is an extensive literature on social movements and social networks. It is anomalous, therefore, that treatments of Chinese social movements seldom discuss guanxi. There are, however, some obvious reasons for this. While economic liberalization has produced the conditions for the emergence of social movements in China, including peasant and also labour movements, they are typically spontaneous and short-lived. Guanxi, on the other hand, is understood to operate through long term commitments. And yet it is widely agreed that in order to achieve almost anything in China guanxi connections must be engaged. Through an examination of social movements in contemporary China the paper will show that guanxi is not only relevant to the formation and mobilization of social movements but also to our understanding of how guanxi operates in the context of movements as well as attempts to repress and undermine them. It will be shown that by theorizing social movements in China in terms of guanxi there is scope to augment social networks approaches to social movements.

'Four Dishes and Soup': Combatting China's Epidemic of Chronic Disease through Anti-corruption Measures
In December 2012, China's incoming President, Xi Jinping, announced a set of austerity measures that would form the basis of his trademark crusade against official corruption. He began with restrictions on the lavish banquets that are characteristic of political relations in contemporary Chinese society. Government officials and businessmen in post-Mao China have grown to rely on banquets replete with expensive alcohol, cigarettes, and food (often followed by some sort of female-centered entertainment that can include the services of a commercial sex worker) to pave the way to success in a market economy that operates under the guise of a Leninist bureaucracy. Xi told party officials to limit themselves to 'four dishes and a soup' (sige cai yige tang) when entertaining guests. He extended his reach to smoking shortly before Chinese New Year of 2014 with announcement of a policy prohibiting government officials from smoking in public and using public funds to buy cigarettes. Xi's policies, which struck at the very heart of the informal mechanisms that have become central to party politics in China, aimed to limit corruption. But those same policies could have formed the basis of an aggressive public health campaign because they restricted officials from engaging in practices that rely on excessive eating, drinking, smoking, and even commercial sex, which all have the potential to place people at risk for the types of chronic diseases, sexually transmitted infections, and even HIV that have been ravaging the Chinese populace for the past twenty-five years. This paper will discuss how guanxi making exposes men to myriad chronic diseases and sexually transmitted infections including HIV through the rituals of yingchou. Addressing these diseases within the Chinese context is thus not simply about implementing interventions focused on changing individual behavior but rather must take into account the cultural rituals that fuel such behavior.

David WANK
The Evolution of Guanxi Practice, ca. 1970s–2000s: Economic Transformation and Time Efficiency
How have networks changed over the course of China's half century of economic transformation? This paper examines the evolution of guanxi practices during China's roughly four-decade transformation, from the late 1970s planned economy, to the market reform economy of the 1980s and to the more deeply marketized economy of the 2000s. I argue that the expanded the possible scale of the ties during economic transformation has stimulated institutional innovations in such guanxi practices as gift-giving and banqueting. By focusing on the new field of business, I show how the evolution of practice reflects an increasing time constraint on an entrepreneur as they cultivate ties with growing number of officials. Dyadic practices of gift-giving and banqueting, which require much personalized face-time interaction, are increasingly giving way to more "time-efficient" forms that reduce an entrepreneur's personal investment of face-time. The data come from autobiographical works, government and journalistic documents, and fieldwork.

Styles of Guanxi as Governance in Grassroots Institutions in Contemporary China
Local collective institutions in China make citizens legible to the state. While the reforms of the last three decades have profoundly altered the social and economic landscape, local citizenship remains an administrative ideal in the Chinese governance system. This form of rule enables what I term "socialized governance," a personalized mode of integrating people through maintaining direct contact with them and enmeshing them in social networks that link to the state. Establishing guanxi relations with each person recognized as a member of their territory is a key task of the basic level organizations of the Chinese state, the urban residents committees and rural villager committees. Based on 2008-2009 ethnographic research in four such committees in Tianjin Municipality, this paper describes socialized governance in action, covering issues of participation, claims-making and social welfare. Following Mayfair Yang's seminal work, guanxi practice has most often been conceptualized as undermining or subverting state rules. Based on the data considered here, I argue that guanxi is fundamentally ambivalent, serving both as a means through which state control is extended and a mechanism for claims-making and pressure from below. This blending of formal and informal dimensions of rule, of political and social controls, has been a feature of local governance in China since late imperial times. As Yang noted, guanxi forms are gendered, and this paper describes how the role of women in the routine management of emotion is central to the operation of socialized governance. It also shows how social exclusion is deployed as a local technique of low-cost repression, and how social distance is used as a technique in more bureaucratic forms of administration carried out by formal government agencies at local level.

ZHOU Xueguang and Qinglian (Angela) LU
From Formal Structure to Social Capital in the Chinese Bureaucracy: Concepts, Measures and Patterns
Much of the guanxi or social capital literature focuses on informal social relations. In this study, we consider the link between formal structure and social capital in the organizational context. Formal organizations provide stable structures of positions, boundaries, and authority relationships that facilitate and shape patterns of interactions and the accumulation of social capital. The recent development of social network analysis provides useful tools for depicting and analyzing such patterns. Using a data of personnel flows in a large Chinese bureaucracy, we propose to (1) conceptualize several lines of social capital based on formal organizational structures, (2) develop measures of these analytical concepts, and (3) illustrate their implications for understanding variations in social capital in the Chinese bureaucracy, both across bureaucratic arenas and over time. Our analyses shed new lights on Chinese guanxi in the organizational context and open up new venues for understanding their implications for personnel mobility and organizational performance.



Jack BARBALET is Chair Professor in Sociology and Head of the Department of Sociology at Hong Kong Baptist University. Prior to his current position, he served as a Professor of Sociology at the University of Western Sydney, and also at the University of Leicester, where he was the head of Sociology. His first academic appointment was in Economics at the University of Papua New Guinea and started teaching Sociology at the Australian National University. His area of focus includes sociological theory, the sociology of emotions and economic sociology. His publications, which are widely cited, have been translated into Chinese, German, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish and Swedish. They include Emotion, Social Theory, and Social Structure (Cambridge, 2001), Emotions and Sociology (Blackwell, 2002), Weber, Passion and Profits (Cambridge, 2008) and Religion and the State: A Comparative Sociology with Bryan Turner and Adam Possamai (Anthem, 2011) as well as papers in Asian Studies Review, British Journal of Sociology, Journal of Classical Sociology, Sociological Review, and Theory and Society. Barbalet currently researches aspects of Chinese society, including guanxi, family structure, and wealth migration, as well as connected themes in Chinese and Japanese religion. Many of his papers can be accessed through his website,

Yanjie BIAN is a Professor and Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Science and the Founding Director of the Institute for Empirical Social Science Research (IESSR) at Xi'an JiaoTong University (China). He is also a Professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota (UMN). His current research is on guanxi-based corporate social capital, social networks and jobs in Chinese cities, and institutional change and social mobility in post-Mao China. Bian received his Ph.D. at the State University of New York in Albany. Currently, he is the Lead representative of China of East Asian Social Survey and International Social Survey Program (ISSP). Prior to his current position at UMN, he served as the Chair Professor (2005-08) and Head (2002-06) of the Division of Social Science at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). Last year alone, he authored and co-authored articles and chapters on "Subjective Wellbeing of Chinese People: A Multifaceted View" in Social Indicators Research online, "Subjective Wellbeing in China and Britain" in Journal of Sociological Research, "East Asian Social Networks" in Encyclopedia of Social Network Analysis and Mining, and "Corporate Social Capital in Chinese Guanxi Culture" in Research in the Sociology of Organizations 40.

Na CHEN 陈纳 received his academic degrees from Temple University and University of Pennsylvania in the U.S. and Peking University in China. Over the last ten years Dr. Chen has taught at Shanghai Normal University, Fudan University in China, and Wabash College in the U.S. Currently he is a research fellow at the Center for Social Development, Fudan University, and research associate at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California at San Diego. His research interest includes sociology of religion, sociology of development, and intercultural communication. He has published dozens of papers and book chapters both in Chinese and English. His recent research includes an ethnographic study of the "Confucian Congregation" in Southeast China, the current revival of Confucianism and the reconstruction of Chinese identity, and the case study of clientelism as a guanxi tradition in an East China rural community.

Tom CLIFF is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Culture, History and Language at the Australian National University. He is part of a team researching "Informal Life Politics", or how people organize themselves to protect against state action or a lack of state care. He received his Ph.D. in Asian Studies from the Australian National University. Cliff's recent publications include articles in The China Journal, The China Story, and China Perspectives. His current research interests include identity and experience of settler populations on China's frontier, empire and migration, state-society relations, and informal life politics.

Lizhu FAN 范丽珠 is Professor of Sociology at Fudan University. Managing Vice Director, Fudan-UC Center on Contemporary China. As a pioneer scholar on the study of sociologist of religion in China, she has engaged in historical and ethnographic studies of Chinese folk religious beliefs, sociological theories of religion, and the study of the trends of folk religious beliefs in modern Chinese society. Her most significant works include The Religion and Faith Transition of Chinese in the Contemporary Era: Field Research of the Adherents of Folk Religion in Shenzhen; China and the Cultural Sociology of Religion (co-authored with James Whitehead and Evelyn Whitehead); Sociology of Religion: Religion and China (co-authored with James Whitehead and Evelyn Whitehead). Academic article include "Conversion and Indigenous Religions in China" (Co-authored with CHEN Na) in the Oxford Handbook of Religious Conversion; "The Cult of Silkworm Mother as a Core of Local Community Religion in a North China Village" in China Quarterly, etc.

Xiucheng FAN 范秀成 is a Professor of Marketing and the Director of the Center for Service Marketing and Management at School of Management, Fudan University. His research interest includes services marketing, relationship marketing, and branding. His work has appeared in Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Service Research, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Service Management, etc. As a pioneer in service research in China, he initiated Shanghai Service Symposium and has been involved in Service Science Steering Committee. He is the associate editor of Nankai Business Review, and on the editorial board of Journal of Service Research, and Customer Needs and Solutions. He is a panelist on management science of National Natural Science Foundation of China.

James FARRER is a Professor of Sociology and Global Studies at the Sophia University in Tokyo. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. Farrer is the author of Globalization, Food and Social Identities in the Asia Pacific Region (2010), Opening Up: Youth sex culture and market reform in Shanghai (2002), and forthcoming books "Globalization and Asian Cuisines: Transnational Networks and Contact Zones" (expected Fall 2015), and "Shanghai Nightscapes: A Nocturnal Biography of a Global City" expected out in print this year. His current research focuses on cities in East Asia, including transnational migration, nightlife, sexuality, and foodways.

Thomas B. GOLD is Professor of Sociology at the University of California. Since 2000 he has also served as Executive Director of the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies (IUP), a consortium of 14 American universities which administers an advanced Chinese language program at Tsinghua University in Beijing. At Berkeley he has also served as Associate Dean of International and Area Studies, Founding Director of the Berkeley China Initiative, and Chair of the Center for Chinese Studies. Gold serves on the editorial board of many scholarly journals, and his book, State and Society in the Taiwan Miracle (1986), was the first to apply theories of dependency, world systems and dependent development — up to that time based mainly on the experience of Latin America — to an East Asian case. He received the Chancellor's Award for Civic Engagement in 2010.

Heather HAVEMAN is a Professor of Sociology and Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Cal is also her alma mater where she received her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Industrial Relations. Before returning to Berkeley, she taught at Duke University and Cornell University. Haveman is the co-author of Magazines and the Making of America: Modernization, Community and Print Culture (2014). Her articles have appeared in Sociological Science, American Sociological Review, Organization Science and other leading publications. Her current research interests include organizational theory (organizational ecology, institutionalism, social movements), economic sociology, social history, entrepreneurship, gender, careers and social mobility.

Richard MADSEN is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at UCSD, Director of UC Fudan Center on Contemporary China & Acting Provost of Eleanor Roosevelt College 2014/15. He has been called "one of the modern-day founders of the study of Chinese religion" by noted journalist Ian Johnson. He is author or co-author of 12 books on Chinese culture, American culture, and international relations, including Habits of the Heart (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1995) and The Good Society (New York, Knopf, 1991), Chen Village under Mao and Deng (Berkeley, UC Press, 1992), He is currently working on a book about happiness in China, which he describes as an exploration on searching for a good life in China in an age of anxiety, tapping into people's sense of meaning.

John OSBURG is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Rochester. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. His is the author of Anxious Wealth: Money and Morality Among China's New Rich (Stanford UP, 2013) based on ethnographic fieldwork he conducted from 2002-2006 with a group of entrepreneurs and businesspeople in Chengdu, China, analyzing their networking, business entertaining, and deal making. His current research examines wealthy Han Chinese who have become followers and patrons of Tibetan Buddhism.

Tianshu PAN 潘天舒 is Professor of Cultural Anthropology affiliated with the Institute of Anthropological and Ethnological studies, Fudan School of Social Development and Public Policy, where he has taught since 2006. He co-directs the Harvard-Fudan/ Fudan-Harvard Medical Anthropology Collaborative Research Center with Prof. Arthur Kleinman, the world's leading medical anthropologist. Pan was educated at Fudan (B.A. in English, 1989) and Harvard (A.M. in Regional Studies-East Asia, 1995 and Ph.D. in Anthropology, 2002). Before moving to Fudan, he taught at Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) in Washington, DC. His doctoral thesis research on social memory, neighborhood gentrification, and community-building practices in Shanghai was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Since 1998, he has conducted field research on a range of topics including spatial memory and neighborhood gentrification, local responses to avian flu threat, care-giving practices in aging communities, and stigma and challenges of mental health care-giving in urban Shanghai.

Zhongqi PAN 潘忠岐 is Professor of Political Sciences at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, with a brief experience in Chinese diplomacy. He teaches international politics at both undergraduate and graduate levels and in both Chinese and English; give course of International Politics and Theories to MA students in the Chinese Politics and Diplomacy program; research on international relations theory, China and international system, China's foreign policy and strategy, China-US and China-EU relations, etc.; author of From Following the Shi to Shaping the Shi: China's International Orientation and Strategy (Shanghai: Fudan University Press, 2012); The Logic to Live with the Hegemony: American Strategies and China-US Security Relations in the Post-Cold War Period (Shanghai: Shanghai People's Publishing House, 2012); and "Conceptual Gaps in China-EU Relations: Global Governance, Human Rights and Strategic Partnerships," (ed.) (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming); seconded by China's Foreign Ministry as a First Secretary at Mission of the People's Republic of China to the European Communities in 2008-09.

Mike W. PENG (Ph.D., University of Washington) is the Jindal Chair of Global Strategy at the University of Texas at Dallas. He is also a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award winner and a Fellow of the Academy of International Business (AIB). Peng is best known for his development of the institution-based view of strategy and his insights about the rise of emerging economies such as China in global business. He has published over 120 articles and five books. His textbooks, Global Strategy, Global Business, and GLOBAL have been translated and used in over 30 countries. With over 17,000 Google citations and an H-index of 55, he is widely regarded as one of the most prolific and most influential scholars in global strategy. He is listed among The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds (compiled by Thomson Reuters based on citations).His work has been cited by both the United Nations and the World Bank. Recent research awards include a Journal of International Business Studies Decade Award (2015) and an Academy of Management Perspectives Best Impact Award (2014).

Xiaoying QI is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Hong Kong Baptist University and Adjunct at Macquarie University and the University of Wollongong, Australia. She published Globalized Knowledge Flows and Chinese Social Theory with Routledge in 2014 and is Editor of the forthcoming special issue in the Journal of Sociology on "Chinese Sociology, Sociology of China." She has also published a number of articles in internationally refereed journals, including American Journal of Cultural Sociology, British Journal of Sociology, International Sociology, and Journal of Sociology. Qi is a member of the Associate Board of Sociology. Her current research is focused on social movements in China and a cross-cultural study of family obligation in urban China, Hong Kong and among migrants in Sydney.

Yang SU 苏阳 obtained his Ph.D. from Stanford in 2003 and is now Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. He is author of Collective Killings in Rural China during the Cultural Revolution (Cambridge, 2011), which won the Barrington Moore Award for the best book in historical and comparative sociology in 2012. A social movement scholar, his recent journal articles include "Adapt or Voice: Class, Guanxi and Protest Propensity in China" (Journal of Asian Studies, 2013).

Elanah URETSKY is an Assistant Professor of Global Health, Anthropology, and International Affairs at George Washington University. She received her Ph.D. at Columbia University in 2007. Uretsky is an expert on medical anthropology. She studies the social context of sexual diseases such as HIV/AIDS in China. As a Postdoctoral Fellow, Uretsky helped design a multilateral project to reduce the number of children affected by HIV in southwestern China and another project to survey sex workers in China, a project that aimed to promote the use of female condoms. Some of her publications include "The risk of success: cultural determinants of chronic disease and sexually transmitted infections among urban Chinese men" in Health Promotion International, and "'Mobile men with money': The socio-cultural and politico-economic context of high-risk behavior among wealthy businessmen and government officials in urban China" in Culture, Health, and Sexuality.

David WANK is a sociology professor at Sophia University (Japan). He received his Ph.D. and M.A. at Harvard University. Wank has published extensively on the emergence of the market economy and the revival of Buddhism in China. He authored the books Making Religion. Making State: The Politics of Religion and Dynamics of Global Society: Theory and Prospects (in Japanese). He was invited to Yale University, Stanford University, and Academia Sinica (Taiwan) to present his paper on "Coercion and Coldfeet: An Economic Sociology of Corruption in China." Recently, he has been studying culture industries in China and the United States, and the global rise of China from the perspectives of different national contexts.

Sophia WOODMAN is a Chancellor's Fellow and teaches sociology at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on citizenship, human rights and social movements in contemporary China, and how the law and governance matter for citizenship. Her publications include "Segmented publics and the regulation of critical speech in China" which appears this month in Asian Studies Review and "Law, translation and voice: transformation of a struggle for social justice in a Chinese village" published in Critical Asian Studies in 2011. She is writing a book on local citizenship and socialized governance in China, and is the co-editor of a book on autonomy systems, Practicing Self-government: A Comparative Study of Autonomous Regions (Cambridge 2013).

Yunxiang YAN is a Professor of Anthropology at University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). His interest in anthropology was shaped by his rural upbringing. Born in Beijing, China, he was forced to move to a remote village due to his father's political opinions. As a consequence, Yan had to drop out of primary school and work as a shepherd, farmer, and seasonal manual laborer. Growing up in a village, he experienced political oppression and economic hardships (i.e. famine) under Maoism. Living as a political outcast for twelve years engendered in him a strong commitment to represent the Chinese peasants through his academic work. Yan received his Ph.D. in Social Anthropology at Harvard University in 1993. He taught Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (1993-1994) and Johns Hopkins University (1994-1996) and has been teaching at the UCLA Department of Anthropology since 1996. His research focuses on social change and development, family and kinship, cultural globalization, morality, and the individual and individualization.

Mayfair YANG is a Professor in the Department of Religious Studies and Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies at University of California (UC), Santa Barbara. She received her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at UC Berkeley. Yang is interested in the intertwined processes of religiosity, secularization, and state operations in modernity, under post-colonial and Communist conditions. She is a recipient of a five-year National Science Foundation research grant and has conducted fieldwork in rural Wenzhou, China on the revival of popular religion and their negotiations with state secularization. Yang is the author of Gifts, Favors, and Banquets: the Art of Social Relationships in China, and editor of Chinese Religiosities: Afflictions of Modernity and State Formation and Spaces of Their Own: Women’s Public Sphere in Transnational China. Her two books-in-progress are on the resurgence of popular religion in rural and small-town Wenzhou in the past two decades.

Xueguang ZHOU is the Kwoh-Ting Li Professor in Economic Development, a Professor of Sociology and an FSI Senior Fellow. His main area of research is institutional changes in contemporary Chinese society, focusing on Chinese organizations and management, social inequality, and state-society relationships. His studies are focused on the rise of the bureaucratic state and rural governance in China. His recent publications examine the role of bureaucracy in public goods provision in rural China (Modern China, forthcoming), interactions among peasants, markets and capital (China Quarterly, forthcoming), multiple logics in village elections (Chinese Social Science 2010, with Ai Yun), and collusion among local governments in policy implementation (Research in the Sociology of Organizations 2011, with Ai Yun and Lian Hong; Modern China, 2010). Before joining Stanford in 2006, Zhou taught at Cornell University, Duke University, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is a guest professor at Peking University, Tsinghua University, and The People's University of China. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University in 1991.


Conference Readings
  1. Chang, Kuang-chi (2011), "A Path to Understanding Guanxi in China’s Transitional Economy: Variations in Network Behavior," Sociological Theory, 29(40), pp. 315-339.

  2. Chen, Chao C., et. al. (2013), "Chinese Guanxi: An Integrative Review and New Directions for Future Research," Management and Organization Review, 9(1), March, pp. 167-207.

  3. Gold, Thomas, Doug Guthrie, and David Wank (2002), "An Introduction to the Study of Guanxi," Gold, Guthrie and Wank, ed., Social Connections in China: Institutions, Culture, and the Changing Nature of Guanxi (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 3-20.

  4. Lo, Ming-Cheng M., and Otis, Eileen M. 2003. Guanxi civility: processes, potentials, and contingencies. Politics & Society 31, no. 1: 131-162.

  5. Qi, Xiaoying (2013), "Guanxi, Social capital theory and beyond: toward a globalized social science," British Journal of Sociology, 64(2), pp. 308-324.

  6. Yang, Mayfair Mei-hui (2002), "The Resilience of Guanxi and its New Deployments: A critique of some new guanxi scholarship," China Quarterly, 170, pp. 459-476.



"The Field of Guanxi Studies" will be held at the following locations in Berkeley. The Friday session will be held at 180 Doe Library on the central campus. The Saturday session will be held in the IEAS conference room at 1995 University Avenue.

Doe Library

See section C4 on this large campus map.

Doe Library

To reach Doe Library via the most direct route, enter campus from Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way. Walk north through Sproul Plaza and Sather Gate. Doe Library will be the second building on the right after passing through Sather Gate. Turn right and walk uphill (towards the Campanile clock tower) until you come to a ground level entrance on your left. Enter there and walk down the hallway to 180 Doe on the right side of the hallway.

1995 University Avenue

The Institute of East Asian Studies is located on the fifth floor of 1995 University Avenue — two blocks west of the University Avenue entrance to campus at the intersection of Milvia Street and University Avenue. The building is three blocks from BART and also has a public parking garage which is accessed off Bonita Street. Click here for a map of Berkeley showing the location of IEAS at University Avenue and Milvia Street and other conference event locations.

Directions to the Berkeley campus

If traveling by BART, exit the Richmond-Fremont line at the Berkeley station (not North Berkeley). When you leave the BART station, walk east up Center Street (towards the hills) one block to the edge of campus. If going to IEAS, walk two blocks north to University Avenue, then one block west (away from the hills) to 1995 University Avenue.

From Interstate 80

To reach the campus by car from Interstate 80, exit at the University Avenue off-ramp in Berkeley. Take University Avenue east (toward the hills) approximately two miles until you reach the campus.

From Highways 24/13

To reach the campus from Highways 24/13, exit 13 at Tunnel Road in Berkeley. Continue on Tunnel Road as it becomes Ashby. Turn right at College Avenue and drive approximately one mile north to Bancroft Way.

Directions to the campus are also available at visitors/ traveling.html


There are various public parking lots and facilities near campus and in downtown Berkeley. This list includes municipal and privately owned parking lots and garages open to the public. Please consult signs for hours and fees prior to entering the facilities.

More information is available on the UC Berkeley Parking and Transportation page.


Accommodations for speakers from out of town are arranged at:
The Berkeley City Club
2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley CA 94704
Tel: (510) 848-7800

This is a landmark hotel close to the UC Berkeley campus. There is a swimming pool (caps required, and for sale at Reception), and TV is available only in the lounge. Breakfast is included.