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Published on October 25th, 2012


China Makes Its Entry into Global Social Science

China is on the rise, and is establishing as a major force both militarily and economically, and is often mentioned as a possible challenger to U.S. hegemonic dominance. However, the social sciences are at present firmly in the hands of Western countries. This is something that the Chinese seek to change with the launch of International Critical Thought.

In 2011 China launched its scientific flagship, International Critical Thought, which they themselves describe as a multidisciplinary forum “for reflection upon and insight into the major problems facing humanity”. Further, the mission of the journal is to provide a new global forum as they themselves say that “none of the existing social and political philosophies have been proven entirely right or wrong”. According to the Chinese it is a response to recent “developments that have crippled the capitalist regime and led the world to a period of fundamental change”.

International Critical Thought is published on Routledge, and is run by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). This Academy was founded in 1977 and includes the fields of philosophy and the social sciences. One of its goals is to contribute to raising China to the very top of international social science research, and to gain prestige both home and abroad.

The CASS makes no effort to conceal that this is a journal meant to promote a Marxist and an intellectually leftist approach to social science. Though the majority of the authors so far are Chinese, the journal is actively lobbying toward Western academics to get an international stamp on the journal.

In an interview with Popular Social Science the journal’s editorial office states that this journal is indeed a new and major flagship of Chinese social science. Further, the journal is interdisciplinary, with a critical focus on social development, particularly the development of capitalism, and the routes taken by developing countries.


A Chinese approach

According to ICT social science in China is following its own path, and by following this path they will play a substantial role at the global level. This does not exclude theories and practices from other scholars. Following this, one of the main motivations behind ICT is to get Chinese and global contributions “expressed in the form of a critique of the existing hegemonic and homogeneous order”.

Though the current Chinese impact on the social science cannot be compared to that of China’s economic status, the editors answer that “it is but natural that the goal of China should be to become a big force in social science”.

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