British Academy - Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences Workshop on Sustainable Urban Development
More than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. As the world continues to urbanise and major cities, such as London and Shanghai, keep on growing, the challenge for urban planners is to ensure sustainable growth and development. On 25-26 March 2015 the British Academy brought together leading experts from the UK and China, to discuss some of the key challenges and opportunities inherent in urban development as well as exchange lessons learned. The two-day workshop, which was a joint initiative with the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, covered a broad range of issues related to urban planning, green transitions, governance, ageing and migration.
In partnership with the British Council and the SOAS South Asia Institute, on 22 January 2015 the British Academy hosted a high-level policy roundtable with a focus on the current state of higher education in South Asia. The roundtable brought together a select audience of policy makers and higher education experts from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the UK, to examine the urgent challenges facing higher education in the South Asia region and develop recommendations for change.
On Thursday 6 and Friday 7 November 2014, the British Academy welcomed participants for a two-day workshop on ‘Russia and Britain- Cultural Interactions in the 20th Century’. Presentations given covered a wide-range of topics, including British and Russian history, literature, language, and intellectual traditions and education. The workshop provided an insight into the comparative cultural practices of Russia and Britain, and brought together delegates from the two countries to share their expertise.
International Seminar on Social Innovation and Creative Responses to Global Urban Challenges
In celebration of World Cities Day 2014, the British Academy held a seminar on 31 October which highlighted the role and importance of social innovation in contemporary urban change and 'smart' liveable city spaces. Participants included scholars, policy makers, social entrepreneurs as well as representatives of private sector and non-governmental organisations from the UK and overseas. Discussions revolved around issues pertaining to urban violence and community resilience, new forms of civic and political participation in urban spaces, alternative business models and informal economies. Speaker presentations showcased examples of social innovation and creative responses to urban challenges and transformations from the UK, China, India, Japan, Lebanon, Jamaica, Zimbabwe, South Africa, the USA and elsewhere. The programme and speakers' list can be downloaded here.
The British Academy organised this event in collaboration with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
The British Academy held a series of events in partnership with the American Academy of Arts & Sciences on 23 and 24 June 2014, which highlighted the vital need for humanities and social sciences research and expertise for international influence and security. The events examined the important role that the humanities and social sciences play in understanding and addressing global challenges, and how these disciplines enrich our lives.
Film Screening – Sir Robert Hart: For China and the World
On 12 June, the British Academy hosted the UK’s public premiere of Sir Robert Hart: For China and the World. The film explores the forgotten history of Britain in China from the 1850s to the early 1900s through the life of Sir Robert Hart, Inspector General of China’s Imperial Maritime Customs from 1863 to 1911. An employee of China’s ruling Qing dynasty, he played a crucial role in the economic development of the country and in its interaction with foreign powers. Filmed in Shanghai and Sir Robert Hart’s native Northern Ireland, the film outlines the personal and political conflicts that motivated one of the most important foreign figures in Chinese history.
Book Launch Event – China-India: Pathways of Economic and Social Development
On 16 April 2014, the British Academy hosted a reception to celebrate the publication of China-India: Pathways of Economic and Social Development, edited by Barbara Harriss-White and Delia Davin.
This new book compares the different paths of economic development in China and India in recent years, and examines their social consequences. Probing behind the obvious contrasts, it discloses important ways in which the two countries are alike in facing the problems produced in large, formerly agrarian societies by rapid economic development and interaction with the global economy.
The reception was preceded by a presentation of the British Academy project which generated the book and some of the key research findings by Barbara Harriss-White, Emeritus Professor of Development Studies at the University of Oxford. Athar Hussain, Director of the Asia Research Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science, shared lessons learnt from several decades of comparative analysis between China and India.
Reception to celebrate the publication of The Goğğam Chronicle
The British Academy held a reception on Monday 10 February to celebrate the publication of The Goğğam Chronicle, edited and translated by Girma Getahun.
The Goğğam Chronicle is a detailed regional history of Ethiopia by the chronicler, Aläqa Täklä Iyasus, who enjoyed the artistic favour and friendship of King Täklä Haymanot. Of particular importance are the collection of poems inspired by dirge, martial boast and religious devotion. As such, the Chronicle was and still is a goldmine for scholars of history, students of Amharic language and early Amharic literature and for those interested in the study of genealogy, church painting, migration and settlement.
The Chronicle was previously known only to a handful of scholars. This new translation is based on careful study of all the manuscripts to produce an authoritative and coherent text. It is the latest volume in the Fontes Historiae Africanae (Sources of African History) series published by the British Academy. Girma Getahun is an independent scholar and expert on Ethiopia.
British Academy - Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Workshop on International Economic Policy and Governance
On 20-21 March, the British Academy and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) held a joint workshop in Beijing, as part of a series of collaborative activities aimed at strengthening scholarly links and promoting policy dialogue. The event successfully brought together 25 leading scholars and policy makers from the UK, China and the USA. Discussions revolved around the themes of Global Macroeconomic Policy Risks and Governance, Foundations for Sustained and Sustainable Growth Across the World, and the Changing Structure of the Chinese Economy in the Context of a Changing World.
The concept of soft power – the ability to influence the behaviour of others and obtain desired outcomes through attraction and co-option – was coined by British Academy Fellow Joseph Nye. Over the past decade, it has been the subject of considerable debate, as governments at home and overseas have sought to exploit their soft power assets in the face of power shifts in order to further their foreign policy objectives.
This report discusses the nature and relevance of soft power in the context of how and why it matters for the UK. It analyses the UK’s soft power resources and its ability to mobilise them, examines the main dilemmas, and includes a series of recommendations for policy-makers and wider society.
A new British Academy report by Christopher Hill and Sarah Beadle.
Emerging Powers, Going Global - Video Digest
This conference analysed the global implications of the rise of emerging powers. What are the opportunities and challenges presented by their growing economic strength and political influence beyond their own borders?
To find out more visit the Emerging Powers Going Global page