Social Changes and Social Governance in the 40 Years of Reform and Opening up

Social Sciences in China Review

No.1, 2019


Social Changes and Social Governance in the 40 Years of Reform and Opening up


Editors note: In the 40 years of reform and opening up, great and far-reaching changes have taken place in Chinese society. These changes are reflected not only in the overall level of urbanization, the transformation of the hierarchical structure, and population aging, but also in the rural man-land relationship, urban and rural community types, urban economic composition, and societys mode of operation. In short, the scale, depth, and speed of this epoch-making change are rare in world history.

Under the influence of great social change, as a tool for controlling social operations, and as a means of preventing social risks, social governance needs to constantly innovate in the face of new situations and problems in order to deal with the relationship between stability and development during reform. Through resolving various contradictions to enhance the level and quality of social progress, and under the guidance of people-centered development thinking, China will successfully become a powerful modern state.

How to view China’s social changes and social governance over the 40 years of reform and opening up? How does research on social governance respond to social changes? In this issue, the editorial board of Social Sciences in China Review invite Zhang Yi, the dean of the Social Development Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, as the host. In addition, five scholars were invited to participate in the dialogue in writing: Li Peilin, the deputy director of the National People’s Congress Social Construction Committee and Member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Hong Dayong, director of the Department of Degree Management and Postgraduate Education of the Ministry of Education and of the Research Center for Sociological Theory and Method at Renmin University of China; Li Yu, chair of the department of Sociology at Fudan University; and Lin Ka, professor of the School of Public Administration and a research fellow at the Center for Social Governance and Social Policy Research, Zhejiang University. They discuss the issues of innovating with social governance to address social changes in terms of hierarchical structure change, social transformation, social mobility, and inclusive social policy in their articles: “Changes in China’s Social Class in the 40 Years of Reform and Opening Up (Li Peilin), Provide More In-Depth Academic Support for Social Governance Practices (Hong Dayong), Social Transformation and Innovation with Social Governance Patterns (Zhang Yi), The Quality and Quantity’ of Social Mobility” (Li Yu) and “The New Era and Inclusive Development of Social Development in China” (Lin Ka).

Some of these articles were reorganized and revised by authors based on their speeches at the symposium on “Social Changes and Social Governance in the 40 Years of Reform and Opening Up” and published in this issue to share with readers.