Daniele Brombal is Associate Professor at the Department of Asian and North African Studies of Ca’ Foscari University Venice, where he teaches courses on China’s society, politics, and environmental governance and codirect the master programme in environmental humanities. His research focuses on institutional change for sustainability in China and along the new silk roads. Daniele has a long experience in inter- and trans-disciplinary methods for collaborative research and capacity building, developed in both academic and development cooperation settings. Besides his teaching and research obligations, he contributes to the Marco Polo Centre for Global Europe-Asia Connections and to the Turin World Affairs Institute (T.Wai).
China’s Emergent Institutional Ecologies for System Change
Today’s civilizational challenges require systemic transformations to ensure a thriving future for life and human societies on Earth. Against this background, in recent years China has been acknowledged as a potential change-maker in a number of fields key to the global governance. The country is credited with this status in consideration of its increasing technological capacities and of the perceived efficiency of the Party-State in dealing timely with global crises, epitomized by COVID-19. And yet China’s potential to generate change at deeper levels−values, worldviews, social norms− appears to be limited by the trajectory of her institutional evolution, hardly capable of triggering and sustaining paradigmatic transformations. The very same technocratic and efficientist approach praised as the recipe for China’s success hampers a bolder institutional evolution, such as those witnessed by the country from the May 4th Movement onwards, throughout the XX century.
Daniele’s work at EURICS aims at scratching away the surface of China’s harmonized reality, to identify and tap into novel institutional ecologies that may inspire and guide systemic changes in China and beyond. His work will focus on emergent values and norms bearing potential for social and environmental regeneration, embodying alternatives to dominant paradigms that have caused the current civilizational crisis. Daniele will collect and systematize state-of-the-art knowledge on these aspects by means of trans-disciplinary workshop activities hosted at EURICS, engaging both scholars and practitioners. The outcome of these activities will be crystalized in a horizon scan of China’s emergent institutional ecologies and their potential in triggering paradigmatic changes in the way(s) human beings relate to each other and to nature.