2020 “Top 10 Hot Topics in Humanities and Social Science Research in China” Released

Editor's Note: The 2020 “Top 10 Hot Topics in Humanities and Social Science Research in China” was jointly publicized by the Academic Monthly journal, the Theory Department of Guangming Daily and the Information Center for Social Sciences in subordination to Renmin University of China. The three institutions had decided on the ten after an established due process consisting of extensive survey, literature research, scholarly discussion, expert review, and final selection by vote.


Hot topic No.1: Xi Jinping's Thought on Ecological Civilization

Reason for its selection: Xi Jinping's Thought on Ecological Civilization is a crucial part of his development of “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era.” In 2020, the academic community made extensive effort in exploring its theoretic origins, formative process, intension and connotation, key features and major theoretical and practical significance, in various perspectives, and produced numerous high-quality works.


Hot Topic No. 2: Classic Marxist Authors' Theoretical Contributions and Their Value in Our Time

Reason for its selection: The year of 2020 witnessed the 200th anniversary of Friedrich Engels’ birth and the 150th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Lenin. To better expand these great thinkers' intellectual legacy and push for theoretical innovation and practical development, a great number of Chinese scholars looked back on the two classic Marxists and thoroughly explored their thought development, revolutionary practice, and vital contributions to Marxism.


Hot Topic No. 3: China and the World in an Unprecedented Situational Shift

Reason for its selection: The world is currently undergoing a “structural shift as tremendous as never seen in a century,” and consequently China is facing opportunities as well as unprecedented challenges. In 2020, China's interaction with the world became a burgeoning field of research interest. The economic, political, cultural and social dimensions to the interaction were scrutinized. International politics, world economy and the relations between major powers were reexamined in the perspective of the great shift. Many scholars speculated on China's opportunities and difficulties, new responsibilities and commitments to its own people and to the world in general.


Hot Topic No. 4: Interpretation and Application of the Civil Code

Reason for its selection: This has been the first law named “Code” (fadian) since the founding of the People's Republic of China, representing a major achievement of the country's socialist legal construction in the new era. After the promulgation of the Civil Code, scholars reflected upon its successful formulation and compilation, interpreted the fundamental principles and legal rules as confirmed in it, and expounded its innovation and development in legislative technique, so as to provide intellectual support for its implementation.


Hot Topic No. 5: Historical Origins of China's Cultural Genes

Reason for its selection: China's cultural genes relate to the birth and growth of this glorious 5000-year-long civilization and must have been a most important driving force in the continual development and growth of the nation. In 2020, it drew extensive attention in both archaeological and historical circles. Tremendous relevant academic work was done, a series of critical breakthroughs were made, significantly changing traditional theories about the origins of the Chinese civilization.


Hot Topic No. 6: Multidisciplinary Study on Major Public Health Emergencies

Reason for its selection: The COVID-19 pandemic breaking out in the early 2020 constituted a once-in-a-century public health crisis. Starting up with the prevention and control of this particular epidemic, the academic community conducted a multidisciplinary study on the management of major public health emergencies. Scholars specialized in different disciplines carried out extensive research and dialogues over the role of state governance, global economy, and rule of law in the grip of the pandemic.


Hot Topic No. 7: Poverty Alleviation and Rural Revitalization

Reason for its selection: The year of 2020 was a critical year in China’s project of building a “moderately prosperous society” and alleviating poverty. Scholars reaped numerous research results with theoretical value and practical significance on poverty alleviation and rural revitalization. Based on a profound understanding of rural revitalization and its possible routes, they creatively explored for endogenous mechanism and effective models to effectively connect the achievements of poverty alleviation with rural revitalization, so as to push for all-round rural revitalization and accelerate the further development of those rural areas recently delivered from poverty.


Hot Topic No. 8: The Value of Zhang Zai's Thought in Our Time

Reason for its selection: Zhang Zai, the founder of Neo-Confucianism in the Song Dynasty, was famous for the so-called “Four Lines of Heng Qu” (specifically, “Ordain conscience for Heaven and Earth, secure life and fortune for the people, continue lost teachings for past sages, and establish peace for all future generations”), which embody the real spirit of Neo-Confucianism, and define the mission and responsibility of the intellectual community of all times. Year 2020 was the 1000th anniversary of Zhang Zai's birth and to celebrate the great thinker, the academic community witnessed many conferences on his main ideas, classic works and how they relate to our time.


Hot Topic No. 9: Literary and Arts Research in the Light of Iconology

Reason for its selection: Ushered into this “picture-reading” era, iconology is receiving growing attention in China’s academic community. Therefore, scholars were exploring research paths in the cross-reference between historical images and modern images, the interaction and integration of texts and visual images, and the crossover comparison between artistic images and social life images.


Hot Topic No. 10: The Digital Economy and New Driving Impetus

Reason for its selection: The Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee gave priority to the development of the digital economy as a crucial part of the task of improving and upgrading the economic system during the 14th Five-Year period. In 2020, the academic community incorporated this agenda into the overall logical framework of high-quality development in China. It recognized that the technological and industrial revolutions brought about by the digital economy would, in turn, realize profound changes in the economic structure, industrial system, management paradigm and business model, and such changes would prove a new mechanism for transforming the economic growth patterns and stimulating new economic growth drivers in the country.


RELEASE TIME2021-01-28