Research News | Duke Kunshan University

Research News

Recent research highlights from Duke Kunshan University’s centers and programs, plus a few other places. Use the filter to narrow your search.

China's global ecological civilization and multilevel environmental governance

In edited book Towards a New Multilateralism: Cultural Divergence and Political Convergence?, scholar of environmental policy Coraline Goron explores whether China's ecological civilization construction can serve as a new model. She finds that the effectiveness of ecological civilization building is related to the interpretation of its meaning and practical operation, and that ambiguity may lead to compromised outcomes.

Climate Change Driven Displacement and Justice: The Role of Reparations

On how to confront the phenomenon of climate change driven displacement, arguments seem to converge on a similar range of policy remedies: expansion of the 1951 Refugee Convention to include ecological refugees. Curiously, this convergence is observable even across the distinction of interest for this paper: reparations and no reparations. Philospher Kyle Fruh argues that non-reparative arguments that seek to address climate change driven displacement have several shortcomings, such that climate justice should be understood to include an indispensable role for reparations.

Duties and Demandingness, Individual and Collective

The demandingness on moral duties has been controversial among scholars. Many large-scale moral issues, such as global warming and poverty eradication, are collective duties rather than individual ones. In reality, however, people tend to have high demands on individual morality. In his essay Duties and Demandingness, Individual and Collective, philospher Kyle Fruh analyzes why the interplay between collective duties and demandingness concerns is more complicated than has typically been appreciated.

Revealing the neural circuit of metacognition

Metacognition refers to the capacity to monitor and control one's own cognitive processes. In this study, cognitive neuroscientist Sze Chai Kwok and his team investigated the neural circuits underpinning human metacognition. They found that a white-matter tract called superior longitudinal fasciculus is associated with metacognitive abilities in both perception and memory tasks. This pathway acts like a highway linking the frontal and posterior parts of the brain to support the communication necessitated by meta-memory. Since metacognition plays a key role in human intelligence, and related deficits are linked to a number of psychiatric disorders, the research does not only help us understand human cognition but also sheds new light on psychiatric endeavors.  

Momentous Inconclusions: The Life and Work of Larry Eigner

Larry Eigner (1927–1996) was an active and significant figure for the New American Poets of the 1950s and 1960s, particularly with the Black Mountain School. Eigner’s work has had a significant influence on generations of poets as he was at the center of the development of a postmodern poetics. In addition to his poems, his correspondence with scholars also bears this out. Literary scholar Stephanie Anderson analyzed the poems and letters Larry Eigner completed in flights to show how he intertwined his "archiving" with poetic writing and expressed sensual messages in externalized language.

Knowing your sources: Partisan media and voters’ perceptions of the economy

Today, social media seems to have enormous power in influencing public thinking. Political scientist Lie Philip Santoso, through his research in 14 European countries, finds that partisan media for a given party greatly influences the extent to which partisanship colors voters’ perceptions of the economy (i.e., the strength of the partisan screen). The implication of this is that the greater the availability of media sources favorable to a party, the stronger the partisan screen for its partisans.

New historicism collides conceptually with the ideas in literature of alternate history

New Historicism and alternate history raise similar questions regarding history and ideology. They share emphasis on the interaction between history and present, and their conceptualization of “historical time” in relation to contemporary webs of signification. Comparative literature scholar Yitzhak Meir Lewis studies the two in terms of their conceptualizations of historical narrative, intertextuality, narrativity, non-linear structure and spatiality, problematizing the division between literature and criticism. Reconceptualizing alternate history, the paper attempts to point the way towards a “post-poststructural” position on issues of literature and history.


Reviewing the pathways used to achieve universal health coverage in China and Vietnam

The concept of universal health coverage sounds like a utopia for people in some countries and regions around the world, but it has been successfully implemented for years in China and Vietnam. Global health scientist Shenglan Tang and team explored the ways in which China and Vietnam have achieved universal health coverage through in-depth interviews with policymakers and secondary data analysis. The study finds that China has increased population coverage through strong political commitment and extensive government financial subsidies. Vietnam expanded population coverage gradually, by prioritizing the poor and the near-poor in an incremental way. Compared with Vietnam, China suffers from persistent disparities among population income levels and geographic location.

Integrated healthcare programs on chronic diseases in six countries in the Asia-Pacific region

With the growing demand for long-term care worldwide, integrated care facilities have become a necessity for many patients with chronic conditions. Global health scientist Shenglan Tang and team reviewed 87 integrated care programs for chronic diseases in electronic databases in six Asian countries, including China, India, and Singapore, and found that financial incentives have played a crucial role in facilitating integrated care and ensuring the sustainability of programs.  In many cases, the performance of programs was found not to have been adequately assessed.

Rhythm revolution: How music “modernized” China (1903-37)

Diverging from the existing musical scholarship that mostly takes for granted the symbiosis between “modern music” and “modern China," literary and cultural historian Xiangjun Feng’s essay published in Modern Chinese Literature and Culture treats music as a modernizing agent and pinpoints how exactly musical forms were transmitted into social forms and in this process acted to effect large-scale social change. Using 1930s Shanghai as an example, he argues that music “modernized” China most fundamentally through a “rhythm revolution.” This revolution not only redefined how musical rhythm should be perceived, practiced and visualized through a new notation system but also mediated a radically new conceptualization of modern time, one that was no longer an open-ended natural flux but a rationalized, standardized and measurable Clock Time, standing aloft from, and guiding the pace of, the modern life.