British Journal of Chinese Studies

dragon mural beijing 2018 copyright Gerda Wielander

Chinese Studies and the War in Ukraine: Call for Papers


On 22 February 2022 Russia invaded Ukraine. The ongoing war has not only brought devastation to the region, but also profoundly impacted the international community. The UK has strongly denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, joining the United States and other countries in Europe and around the world in attempts to isolate Russia politically and economically, creating a geopolitical stand-off reminiscent of the 20th century Cold War. These developments have also put the spotlight on how Chinese political leadership will choose to navigate this new situation, especially its relations with Russia, as well as with the US, UK and other NATO members. The war in the Ukraine may well exacerbate already heightened Sino-Western tensions, but also heighten anxiety about cross-straits relations in Asia.

How can the academic community counteract a return to binary thinking in the international political sphere? What can be learnt from individual activists like Wang Jixian? What Chinese voices can we amplify that provide complex and alternative perspectives? How have artists across the Sinophone world reflected on the situation in Ukraine through visual or literary expression?

And how have the tragic events in Ukraine impacted academic exchanges, including in Chinese studies, whether through the institutional disruption of Chinese studies within Ukraine, the displacement of Ukrainian and Russian scholars, or the limitations felt via censorship, political influence or simply travel restrictions hampering international collaboration? What can we learn from historical precedents in terms of the ways in which we may constructively move forward? How have previous conflicts shaped Sinology or Chinese studies as disciplines, and what lessons may be learnt from those experiences? What advice may be offered for maintaining and (re-)building academic relationships and institutional resources related to Chinese studies, both now as the war in Ukraine continues, and following its resolution?

We welcome scholarly position papers of no more than 1500 words in response to these questions for publication in the January 2023 issue of the British Journal of Chinese Studies. As brief position papers, they will not go through peer review, but will be subject to editorial oversight. (As a guideline, past calls for position papers resulted in the publication of about 50% of submissions.)

Submissions should be made via the journal’s online system, and must follow the style guide:

Please submit your paper by 22 August 2022. If you have any questions, please contact Gerda Wielander at or Chris Foster at