Professor David SG Goodman

David Goodman

Professor David Goodman is deepening understanding about China through his own research, and making a contribution to China Studies as the centre’s Academic Director.

I believe the study of China can only really be achieved from a cross-disciplinary perspective.

My research has always been inherently interdisciplinary. I work with people from political science, sociology, history, business studies and Chinese Studies in the main, but not exclusively. I am in a politics department at University of Sydney, but in sociology in Nanjing University (in eastern China) I’m also a member of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Outside the university sector, I collaborate with state research institutions in China, have been seconded to government in Australia, and work closely with business groups and social organisations who either want to know about China, or are involved with China.

At present I have two major research projects in hand. One concerns the social history of North China from 1939 to 1940 and is mainly document-based and archival, though I do also spend time discussing matters with other researchers in the field in China.

My other project concerns the emergence of entrepreneurs in China’s ethnic borderlands. This involves fieldwork in China, conducting surveys, interviewing entrepreneurs and officials, and reading media.

There has been a substantial amount of media attention on the work we’re doing. I’ve been asked to appear on radio programs and television, and have produced articles for newspapers and magazines.

The people most affected by my research so far are other academics, students, business people, governments and companies. They are almost all involved in China but come from many different countries including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mexico, Australia, UK, USA, Canada, Germany, and France.

Working with all these people helps my research immeasurably. Ideas rarely come from one individual in the social sciences. At the very least they build on the ideas of others.

Steering education

As Academic Director of the centre, I am responsible for educational programs and research activities.

The educational programs are a two-year Master of China Studies and a three-year PhD in China Studies. The master’s program includes a core component on China’s society and development, provides an opportunity to complete a research dissertation, offers language instruction in Modern Standard Chinese, and allows students to follow one of seven specialisations. Each of them can also be pursued at research degree level.

The China Studies Centre has a very active research program that supports University staff in their work on China in a number of ways. It has a series of Research Funded Programs that are competed for annually. One of these is the Annual Workshop, which provides opportunities for the wider community to appreciate and engage with the centre’s research. The centre also supports a publication series with Edward Elgar on China in Perspective; and works with specialist journals to produce research on China studies.

Professor David Goodman is Academic Director, China Studies Centre, and Professor of Chinese Politics, Department of Government and International Relations, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the University of Sydney.