Wang Hui Named to Prospect Magazine's list of Top Thinkers

Wang Hui, Elizabeth and J. Richardson Dilworth Fellow in the School of Historical Studies, has been included in Prospect Magazine's annual list of Top Thinkers, a group of 25 people "whose work informs us about issues of critical global importance."

Wang, whose position at IAS is funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, was praised by Prospect for his "monumental four-volume history of the rise of modern Chinese thought," which was partially published in English translation earlier this year. It is described as "the definitive account of the main developments in and influences on Chinese ideas about nationalism, state, and identity, all of which are in contention as President Xi Jinping rewrites the past to shore up his authority."

The citation continues, "as the world grapples with China’s ascent, there are two components to Wang’s thought worth dwelling on. The first is his insight into what happens when a polity transitions from an empire to a nation state. China’s repressive attitude towards its Uyghur population—a people now forced into outright assimilation—is better understood in this nationalistic context. 

The second is China’s capacity to learn from external ideas while adapting them to domestic imperatives. That is a deep-seated feature and not likely to change. Wang’s work is an indispensable reference point for those seeking to understand China as it is today and where it might be going."

Joining Wang on the Prospect list is Samuel Moyn, Member (2008–09) in the School of Historical Studies, nominated "for his searing critiques of liberalism and challenging of conventional narratives."

Read more at Prospect Magazine.