On July 20th, Kyle Chan, a UChicago alum and current PhD student in sociology at Princeton University, presented findings from his ongoing dissertation project on China's high-speed rail program. While many developing countries—and even some developed countries—struggle to deliver crucial infrastructure, China managed to build the world’s largest high-speed rail network in less than a decade. Through an in-depth case study of this particular program, Mr. Chan hopes to better understand the political and organizational factors underlying China's unique ability to deliver large-scale infrastructure.
An audience of over thirty attendees engaged in a lively discussion with Mr. Chan both during the presentation and afterwards, offering a wide array of useful feedback. Some attendees made helpful suggestions for connecting with potential interviewees or collecting data. Other attendees shared their own personal experiences of how the high-speed railway has affected their own lives.
'Being able to share my research at such an early stage has provided me with a tremendous opportunity to engage with the broader Chinese scholarly community," Mr. Chan said of the event. "As a U of C alum, I'm proud of the University's engagement with China, and I’ve been especially impressed by the UChicago Center in Beijing's active role in facilitating exchanges between China and the U of C community more generally."