U.S.-China Forum on Nov. 16-18 will explore approaches to inequality, social welfare

UChicago to host discussions with Crown Family School scholars and experts from U.S., China

The University of Chicago will host its sixth annual U.S.-China Forum on Nov. 16-18. This year’s event will bring together academic and policy leaders from both countries to discuss the provision of social welfare and the ways in which inequality is being addressed in the U.S. and China, as well as a series of related topics including mental health, disability services and care for children.

Hosted by the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice in partnership with UChicago Global and supported by the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation, the three nights of talks at the new David Rubenstein Forum will feature speakers that include more than a dozen Crown School faculty, as well as scholars from leading academic institutions in China.

Participants can register to attend in-person with proper COVID-19 safety protocols.

President Paul Alivisatos will deliver welcome remarks on the first day of the forum. Additional welcome remarks will come later in the week from Robert J. Zimmer, chancellor and president emeritus; and Juan de Pablo, vice president for national laboratories, science strategy, innovation and global initiatives.

Wang Zhenyao of Beijing Normal University will give a keynote address on Nov. 16. Zhao Jian, the consul general of the Consulate of the People’s Republic of China in Chicago, will deliver remarks on Nov. 18.

Each year, the U.S.-China Forum brings together renowned experts from the University of Chicago and China for high-level engagements focused on issues of importance to both countries and, by extension, the world. It is intended to spur long-term research collaborations between Chinese researchers and scholars at the University of Chicago. Past forums addressed economic relations, urban innovation, water and urban development, energy policy and the arts.

This year’s forum is focused on social policy, and the different ways it is implemented in the two countries. As the two largest economies in the world, the U.S. and China play an outsized role on the global stage. They both have large, mostly urban populations and extensive domestic infrastructures that include many non-state actors who are involved in social policy development and implementation. However, they also differ in key ways, including in terms of scale, development, population diversity, governance, and social welfare infrastructure.

The U.S.-China Forum will provide an opportunity to think comparatively about the relative strengths and limitations of the two countries’ approaches to social welfare implementation, as well as to consider alternative responses and potential future directions. The schedule of panel discussions is below; more information is available on the UChicago Global website.

Tuesday, Nov. 16
6-8 p.m. CT
Reception to follow

Shifting Contours of Governance and Provision: Civil Society and the State

Wednesday, Nov. 17
6-8:30 p.m. CT
Health, Mental Health, and Disability
Children and Youth

Thursday, Nov. 18
6-8 p.m. CT
Reception to follow

Social Inequality and Policies of Inclusion and Exclusion