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China’s Dreams of Order - Talk by Jeanne-Marie Gescher

Jeanne-Marie Gescher, a highly respected China observer who has lived in Beijing since 1989, argues that China’s importance really lies in a 5,000 year question about order: is order only to be found under a single top-down ruler or does it depend on the voices of human beings? And if the latter, what 'kind' of human beings are required?

In her talk she will cover many of the issues of law and governance, the rulers and the ruled – All Under Heaven - referring to China’s ancient history and how it relates to the contemporary state and social changes up to the present.

Weaving together the inspirations, ideas, wars and dreams that have shaped the way China’s people have thought about order from the ancient past to the recent present, Gescher reveals a story of China as an epic and continuing battle about order that strikes at the heart of what it means to be Chinese. With the past in perspective, the clashes between China’s people and the Party come to life as never before—and the importance of China’s question becomes clear for everything, including economics.

In a thought provoking conclusion, Gescher invites readers to make their own, informed, views about how order might be found in China—and then to take one step further and apply China’s question to the wider world.

Founder of one of the earliest private advisory firms in China, she has also observed and advised policy institutions on the social, human and environmental changes that have taken place and on their implications, for China and the wider world.

Jeanne-Marie has been honorary legal advisor to successive British ambassadors to the PRC from 1989 to 2015; she is a twice-elected former chair of the British Chamber of Commerce in China.

Prior to China, she worked as a legal advisor with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), as a trade and competition lawyer in Brussels, and as a lecturer in law at the School of Oriental and African Studies (London University). In 2001, she was awarded an OBE for her China work. She is a Leaders Quest Ambassador.

Jeanne-Marie was born in Canada. She is a graduate of the universities of Durham and Aix-en-Provence, and a member of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.

Note: Membership for the Meridian Society is an annual fee of £35 a year (£20 for concessions).

Please book by Friday 15th of April by emailing us at: themeridiansociety@gmail.com.

Date: Wednesday 20th of April
Time: 6:30-8pm
Venue: Room VG06, Vernon Square, SOAS King’s Cross Campus
Entry: SOAS students and members of TMS and SACU free; Non-members £5 donation

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