From enemy studies to area studies: reflections on Israel studies in China


Song Lihong

Journal of Israeli History

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Abstract: Having emerged from the context of enemy studies in the 1960s and 1970s, Israel studies in China is developing rapidly within the framework of area studies owing to the impetus of the Belt and Road Initiative, which was launched in 2013. By addressing the beginnings of Israel studies in China, the perceptions of Israel that have exerted significant impacts on Israel studies in China, and the challenges for future growth that Israel studies scholars in China are facing, this essay tries to delineate some of the basic patterns, trends, assumptions, and working hypotheses which have shaped the contour of Chinese Israel studies and which continue to reverberate.

About the author: Song Lihong was a HYI Visiting Scholar from 2020-21.