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Special Issue: China's Model of Global Development

Submission of Abstracts Deadline: 15 June 2019
Submission of Full Papers Deadline: 30 September 2019

What does China’s rise mean for the future of development? Under Deng Xiaoping, China switched to a socialist market economy that has extended China’s reach across the globe and brought remarkable gains in human development. Deng’s successors Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao linked socialist economic doctrine and Confucian cultural identity. ‘Socialist Ecological Civilization,’ which became national policy during the Hu administration, is being prioritized by China’s President Xi Jinping as the goal of ‘Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era’. As a consequence, China has emerged as a leader in transitioning to renewable energy, in designing a closed-loop economy, and in combating desertification.

The ethical examination of a globally plausible meaning of development is experiencing a paradigm shift. In 2018, the IPCC announced that greenhouse gas emissions must be halved by 2030 and reach a zero emissions target by 2050, to avoid tipping the climate into a ‘hothouse’ state that would jeopardize life on Earth. These planetary constraints create new conditions for development ethics. China’s policy of a ‘Socialist Ecological Civilization,’ introduced in 2007 and enhanced in 2017, is guided by a scientific understanding of climate change and a state-capitalistic conception of sustainable development. Can Chinese-style development serve as a global model and exit-ramp from the hothouse trajectory?

This new type of development involves geopolitical expansion. China is extending its reach by asserting maritime sovereignty in the South China Sea, and by acquiring farmland, improving infrastructure, and creating dependencies in the Global South. The Belt-and-Road Initiative is a network of trading routes, ports, and hubs for a closer integration of Asia, Africa, and Europe. What are the societal and normative implications of China’s reach? What does this expansion mean in terms of the traditional doctrine of ‘All under Heaven’ and Xi Jinping’s foreign policy concept of ‘a Community of Common Destiny for all Humankind’? What do these realignments mean for the Westphalian concept of national sovereignty, especially in the Global South? What does China’s close coordination of government, science, and corporations mean for the future of global development?

Proposals of up to 500 words, plus reference list, are invited on the following topics:

  • China’s post-carbon policies and its leadership in the global climate fight
  • China’s ecological civilization (shengtai wenming) as a model of development
  • China’s Belt-and-Road Initiative (yi dai yi lu) as a matrix of a new world order
  • China’s traditional doctrine of ‘All under Heaven’ (tianxia) and/or China’s current policy of ‘a Community of Common Destiny for all Humankind’ (renlei mingyun gongtongti) as an alternative to the Westphalian system
  • Implications of the Chinese model of development for the countries in the Global South.

Contributions from scholars based in the Global South are particularly encouraged.


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Submission Instructions

Proposals and articles in English are requested.

Manuscripts (of 6,000-8,000 words) should be compiled in the following order:

Author name(s) and title on first page; title, abstract (200 words), and five keywords on second page; main text (set for blind review); acknowledgments; references; appendices (if appropriate).

Style guidelines:



Submission of Papers: 30 September 2019

Expected publication in Journal of Global Ethics, vol. 16, 2020.

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Editorial information

Guest Editors:
Martin Schönfeld, University of South Florida, USA/East China Normal University, China
Xiao Ouyang, Wuhan University, China

Founding Editors:
Sirkku Hellsten, Nordic Africa Institute, Sweden
Christien van den Anker, University of West England, UK
Heather Widdows, University of Birmingham, UK

Christine Koggle, Carleton University, Canada
Eric Palmer, Allegheny College, USA
Martin Schönfeld, University of South Florida, USA

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