Center for Cold War International History Studies (East China Normal University)

Center for Cold War
International History Studies
4th Floor, Humanities Building
East China Normal University
No. 500 Dongchuan Road
Minghan District, Shanghai 200241

Tel. +86 (0)21 54345335


The Center for Cold War International History Studies at East China Normal University (ECNU) was founded in 2001. After fifteen years of development, the Center — the first of its kind in China— now stands as the single most important academic institution in the field of Cold War studies in the whole country. Currently, the Center is directed by Professor Shen Zhihua.

The Center has successfully assembled a group of China's leading scholars on Cold War history. In addition to outstanding scholars at ECNU, several distinguished Chinese and foreign scholars are now affiliated with the Center as visiting chair professors. It has established China's only Cold War history research database, which includes a large number of declassified records from the former Soviet Union, as well as from the United States, several Eastern European countries, South Korea, and Japan. The Center has also evolved to become a critical learning facility for scholars of international history, specializing in offering essential training for conducting multi-archival research.

Cold War Interests: 

| Student Programmes

The website, "Cold War Studies in China," circulates new academic information, promotes scholarly exchanges, and attracts public interest to Cold War studies. Owing to the expertise of the Center's faculty members, in 2006 ECNU launched China's only doctoral program on Cold War international history, which has since recruited both doctoral and master students. It provides an excellent environment for educating and training the next generation of Cold War scholars.

| International academic exchange and cooperation

The Center has organized or co-organized a series of international conferences and symposiums, among them: "Transforming the Cold War: China and the Changing World in the 1970s and 1980s" (2006); "The Cold War and Sino-Soviet Relations" (2009); "The Cold War in Asia: Multidimensional Perspectives" (2010); and "China, the Third World, and the Cold War" (2010). A series of workshops about "Chinese Historiography and Relations of the Cold War" was conducted together with the University of Cambridge in 2014. The Center regularly invites distinguished international scholars to visit ECNU and/or give lectures. Members of the Center also regularly travel abroad to conduct research or give lectures. In 2008 and 2009, the Center collaborated with George Washington University to organize the "Cold War Research Forum for Doctoral Students," held in Shanghai and Washington, D.C. respectively.  In November 2010, the Center signed an agreement with the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars on launching the "ECNU-Wilson Center Cold War Studies Initiative" in 2011. The presence of ECNU academics and other Chinese scholars at the Wilson Center undoubtedly raises the Center's commitment to new heights regarding international cooperation and collaboration.

| Key Research Projects

In recent years, the Center has undertaken a number of "Key Research Projects" some of which are already completed, thus for example, "Important US Foreign Policy Decisions during the Cold War" funded by the Ministry of Education; "US Intelligence Estimate Reports on China during the Cold War," funded by the Shanghai Municipality and "Studies on the Cold War and the Sino-Soviet Alliance" funded by the National Social Science Foundation.  Amongst the projects currently in progress include: "Sino-Soviet Relations Archives Research" funded by the Shanghai Municipality; and "The Origins of the Cold War" and "Sino-Indian Relations during the Cold War" funded by the Ministry of Education. The Center also has conducted a major project on "A Historical Study on the Evolving Korean Peninsula" for the Chinese Foundation of International Strategic Studies, and has organized and translated Russian archival documents regarding Xinjiang for the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences. Both projects are closely related to better defining and understanding key elements of China's national security interests.

| Publications

Furthermore, the Center sponsors and publishes a semi-annual journal Lengzhan guoji shi yanjiu (Cold War International History Studies), which has received widespread attention in the international academic community. Serving on the journal's editorial board are several distinguished scholars, including Professor Odd Arne Westad (London School of Economics), Professor Melvyn Leffler (University of Virginia), Professor William Kirby (Harvard University), Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars), and Professor Chen Jian (Cornell University). This is China's sole academic journal specializing in Cold War studies which serves as a forum for scholarly exchange.

Finally, the Center for Cold War International History Studies offers high quality publications which have had important impacts, both at home and abroad. The Shanghai Municipality awarded a top prize to "A History of Sino-Soviet Relations", edited by Professor Shen Zhihua, and the Ministry of Education granted the work with the "Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Social Sciences and Humanities." "The Rise and Fall of a Superpower—Issues Related to the History of the Soviet Union", also edited by Professor Shen Zhihua, caught widespread attention in both academic and popular circles. "Declassified US Intelligence Archives on China (1948-1976)", an eight-volume collection of translated documents edited by Shen Zhihua and Yang Kuisong, won the Shanghai Book Award's first-class prize. Professors Shen Zhihua, Yu Weimin, Cui Pi, Dai Chaowu, and Li Danhui have published numerous articles in such leading journals as Social Sciences in China, Historical Research, and World History.