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Looking for Ph.D Programs


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Good day everyone.


I am a 28-year-old Finnish citizen, and I hope to start working on a Ph. D. degree at some point.


I am currently doing my (second) M.A. degree at the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin, Germany. I already hold a master’s degree in East Asian (Chinese) studies, with minors in political history and political science from the University of Helsinki, Finland. To date I have also spent some three years studying and working in China.


Now even though I have plenty of ideas in my head, I haven't yet written a dissertation proposal of any kind. However, I can say with almost certainty that I'd like to combine (at least some of) the following elements to my work:
- Contemporary Chinese political history.
- History politics / political use of history. 
- Cultural diplomacy / soft power issues.


Now I posted this very same message in the "humanities->history" as well as "social sciences->political science" forums as I feel my area(s) of interest lies somewhere in between the two disciplines and thus I feel that I am having some trouble finding the "right" place(s) to apply for. On one hand it seems that most departments in East Asian/Chinese studies are focusing heavily on pre-modern culture, literature and language. On the other hand, departments in political science and contemporary history (I am not even sure if in the States there are departments dedicated to what we call contemporary/political history or Zeitgeschichte here) seem to put their emphasis on European and American affairs and I am not sure how they would feel about my aspiration to include the China perspective and the historical dimension to my research. 

Does anyone have any recommendations? Who should I contact? What university/faculty/department should I look into? 


Thanks in advance,


Edited by defektor
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University of Virginia comes to ind as I've just read a book on Sino-Japanese politics by a Chinese diplomatic historian who did her PhD there.  She had an excellent dissertation committee.

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I suspect you'll find many people in political science/government/Sociology departments, or even law schools, who might be willing to direct such a project, but history professors may balk at the "contemporary" nature of your interests.  People to look at would include Roderick Macfarquhar (Harvard), Elizabeth Perry (Harvard), Susan Shirk (UCSD), Kevin O'Brien (UCB), James Tong (UCLA), Pierre Landry (Pitt), Deborah Davis (Yale), Tom Christensen (Princeton), etc., but none of these people are "historians" in the strict sense, with the possible exceptions of Macfarquhar and Perry, who are both close to retirement and may not be taking students.  Faculty in history departments seem to stop their advising range at the early PRC--that doesn't necessarily stop students from applying and then switching to a more contemporary focus later on, but I suspect you'll have a hard time getting in if you state your interests clearly from the outset.

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