2012 is a pivotal year for China; President Hu Jintao will be stepping down after one decade in power, paving the way for the fifth generation of leaders. How will the leadership transition complicate the nation’s ongoing social, economic, and demographic transformations? What impact will these changes have on development? In this context, the 2013 INDePth Conference is framing a conversation about contemporary China around the notion of the “end of development.”
The “end of development” is a multi-layered framework. Empirically, has contemporary China reached the end of its developmental momentum, which has often correlated with its economic growth? Theoretically, situating China’s case in the existing literature on development, how should we assess China’s status? If China proves to be an exceptional case, can we then by extension announce an end to the existing theories on developmental states? Reflexively, contingent on the trajectory of development in China, how do the conversations and speculation that arise during our conference matter in this process of globalized changes?
These critical questions lay the foundation for our endeavour to engage students. By bringing together leading scholars, practitioners, and students from around the world, we are fostering a platform for global idea networking. The unorthodox structure of the conference combines traditional expert panels with workshops and “unconference” sessions in which students initiate and lead discussions. The INDePth experience inspires students across disciplines to apply what they have learned in the classroom, daring them to challenge and move beyond existing boundaries and start meaningful conversions about development.