Global China: Resistance and Adaptation - Made in China Summer School 2020

Seminar | 13-17 July | Florence

In recent years, China’s global push has presented the international community with new opportunities and challenges. In particular, the rapid influx of Chinese outbound investment into a variety of industries has been seen as either a blessing or a curse. Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative has been especially controversial since its announcement in 2013. If, on the one hand, this one-trillion-dollar development initiative received a warm welcome from political elites and interest groups in many of the over 70 countries involved, on the other hand scholars and civil society organisations have expressed concern over this new wave of Chinese investment. 

Ongoing debates and attempts to map China’s investment activities abroad have largely taken a top-down perspective, depicting the issue through the lens of governance and industry, while attempting to provide a bird’s-eye view of the macro-level impacts of China’s global push. What is missing from the current picture is a clear and systematic understanding of the role that Chinese outbound investment is playing at the grassroots, particularly with regards to how Chinese-invested projects impact on local societies, economies, environment, and labour relations. 

To promote a better understanding of what China’s increasingly prominent  international footprint means for societies in the Global North and South, we are holding the third installment of the Made in China Summer School—‘Global China: Resistance and Adaptation’. The event will take place at the CISL Study Centre in Florence, Italy, from 13 to 17 July 2020 and will bring together scholars from all over the world for five days of discussions with trade unionists, international NGO activists, and students. The initiative will serve to lay the foundations for an international network of concerned scholars and civil society representatives with the aim of fostering international solidarity and knowledge sharing with regard to the social challenges emerging from an increasingly Global China.


A detailed programme of the classes, workshops, and events will be released in the coming weeks. Here follows a list of the speakers who have confirmed their attendance thus far:

Tom Baxter – Panda Paw Dragon Claw

Stefan Brehm - Lund University

Darren Byler - University of Colorado, Boulder

Antonella Ceccagno - University of Bologna

Kelly Wanjing Chen - University of Wisconsin-Madison

Miriam Driessen - Oxford University

Ivan Franceschini - The Australian National University

Sam Geall - China Dialogue

Jane Golley - The Australian National University

Aaron Halegua - New York University

Ching Kwan Lee - Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Kevin Lin - International Labor Rights Forum

Nicholas Loubere - Lund University

Malin Oud - Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

Carlos Oya - SOAS, University of London

Maria Repnikova - Georgia State University

Alessandro Rippa - Tallinn University

Christian Sorace - Colorado College

Marina Svensson - Lund University

Liang Xu - Peking University

Yu Zheng - Royal Holloway University of London


The Summer School will be held at the Centro Studi CISL located on the hill rising from Florence towards Fiesole, close to S. Domenico. The Centre was founded in 1951 by CISL, the second largest union confederation in Italy, with the aim of offering its staff a professional and cultural training programme appropriate to the needs of the union. The beauty of the Centre derives not only from its proximity to the historical centres of Florence and Fiesole, but is also due to its position in the middle of Tuscany’s green countryside. All in all, it is a calm, peaceful, and attractive environment for study and discussion.

Costs and Scholarships

There is no enrollment fee for the Summer School, but participants will have to pay for their own transportation and lodging. Free lunch will be provided and we are able to assist with the arrangement of accommodation at the CISL Study Centre for the duration of the Summer School (ideally, check-in should be on 12 July and check-out on 18 July). The price is 68 euros per night in a single room, breakfast included, or 100 euros per night in a double room (if available). Upon confirmation, participants will be required to pay half the total sum as a non-refundable partial payment.

Scholarships to cover part of the costs for flights and accommodation will be available for selected participants. Preference will be given to applicants from the Global South whose work has a strong focus on Global China and/or environment and labour issues.

How to Apply

Up to 20 participants will be admitted to the Summer School. Applications can be submitted until 8 March  through this online form. If you have further inquiries, please contact us at [email protected]. Applicants will be notified whether or not they have been admitted by  the end of March, then will be given until mid-April to confirm their attendance.


The Summer School is jointly sponsored by the Australian Centre on China in the World at The Australian National University, the Global China Center at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.