China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
Evolving technologies figure prominently in China’s economic development, but also challenge China’s policies and governance to adapt, shaping public and private roles, urban-rural disparities, and regional institutional development. The first paper examines China's social credit system (SCS), one of the most radical and ambitious social policies that the Chinese government proposed in the past decade. It assembles different agencies, both governmental and non-governmental, and technologies together to produce new identity for citizens in the name of trust. The study offers insights on how SCS is designed and implemented, and how might it impact Chinese society in the long run. The second paper focuses on information and communication technologies (ICTs), which play a central role in China’s political, social and economic governance, as seen in key policies such as the current 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), the big data action plan (2015), and the Cyber Security Law (2017). Focusing on data centers--fundamental infrastructure in cloud computing--the second paper investigates the emerging data center industry in Guizhou to shed light on some of the infrastructural processes that envision and facilitate, both nationally and globally, China’s ambitions in the digital era. The third paper focuses on public and private roles in social services, especially health care, long-term care for the elderly and disabled, and education, drawing from a recent book on collaborative governance in China compared to the US. The fourth paper discusses China's digital governance from an institutional perspective, and a distinguished political scientist and upcoming sociologist serve as discussants for the session.