On April 9, 2020, CIRS held the CURA Paper Series Seminar with a presentation by Adithi Sanjay, a GU-Q junior majoring in International Politics, and the winner of the Spring 2020 CURA Paper Series Competition. The CURA program launched the competition under its paper series initiative, which allows selected research papers to be published after editorial review, feedback, and revisions. Sanjay’s paper, titled “The Creation and Mobilization of Anti-China Sentiment by Interest Groups in Indian Society (2012-2018),” was chosen as the winner of the competition from a competitive pool of submitted papers.
The winner of the competition had the opportunity to work with CIRS staff to elevate her research work with the goal of being published by the end of the semester. The seminar was organized to provide the student with professional development experience through presenting the paper to GU-Q peers and receiving their feedback. Due to COVID-19 related restrictions and to accommodate participants from various countries, Sanjay presented her research on anti-China sentiment in India via a Zoom meeting, which was attended by CURA fellows and CIRS staff.
Sanjay’s research methodology allowed for a micro-level analysis of the contemporary mobilization of anti-China protests in India. Using a global news monitoring and aggregation database that sourced more than 30,000 newspaper articles, she was able to compile a unique dataset cataloging anti-China protests on a state and regional level in India. The research scope covered anti-China protests from 2012 to 2018, a period spanning the incumbency of two Indian prime ministers as well as two military confrontations at the Sino-Indian border. Sanjay emphasized that anti-China sentiment in India has significant “implications for the level of [Sino-Indian] cooperation on economic, sociocultural, and political bases.” Her analysis focused on the six major drivers of anti-China sentiment that emerged as recurring themes across various anti-Chinese protest events: border tensions, economic tensions, religious tensions, historical and current oppression of Tibetans, Chinese support for Pakistan, and Chinese ministers’ visits to India.
Sanjay stated that “given the sheer size of the Indian population, [the] generalization of anti-China sentiment on a national level is problematic in that it glosses over the nuances of the issues driving public opinion of China in India,” As such, her research fills the gap in the preexisting literature on perceptions of China in India by analyzing the creation and mobilization of anti-China sentiment by three broad categories of stakeholders: non-political civil society organizations, political parties, and their affiliates, and the Indian central government.
The seminar began with the presenter’s remarks on the results and findings of her research and was followed by the question and answer portion that allowed for a fruitful discussion with every participant offering input. Sanjay shared that a limitation of her methodology is media bias, given that “small-size protests are not reported [in regional and national-level newspapers] and therefore considered ‘non-existent.’” As such, Sanjay suggested that data triangulation would enhance her research, as it would allow for the incorporation of ethnographic sources with her existing analysis of news reports. Sanjay concluded, “I enjoyed this experience, and I am grateful for all of your suggestions to improve on my paper and get it ready for publication.”
Sanjay’s winning paper will be published by CIRS in June 2020 and will be the inaugural paper published under the CURA Paper Series.
- For the participants’ biographies, please click here
Article by J.I, CURA Research Fellow