Symposium: “Transforming Societies – Transforming Political Parties”

Event: Society and Politics

How do parties in China and abroad react to social changes such as ageing populations, changes in communication technology, rapid urbanisation and the rapid rise of a middle class?

Societies have been changing rapidly and radically in the last two decades - both, in China and the West: Ageing populations, changes in information and communication technology worldwide as well as rapid urbanization, a rising level of education and the irrepressible rise of a new middle class and a more complex society in China are among these trends, to name just a few.

Photo: Conference Audience

How do parties react to these social changes? Do these trends have an impact on party organizational structures? How do parties answer requests for more participation from their own members and from civil society and interest groups? And how do new media and forms of modern communication change relations within parties and between parties and society at large? These are only some of the many questions that arise when looking at modern societies and their political parties.

On September 23rd and 24th 2014, the international symposium “Transforming Societies – Transforming Political Parties” was jointly hosted by the Shanghai Administration Institute and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Shanghai Office. It sought to offer a platform for scholars and officials from both inside and outside of China to exchange ideas and experience on the above mentioned trends and questions. By presenting best practice examples of different parties and countries, we aimed to encourage the debate about successful forms of inner party democracy and beneficial state-society-relations.

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