PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (12): 1463-1474.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2017.12.002

• Special Issue|Political Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Progress in Chinese political geographical research: A perspective based on projects supported by the National Science Foundation of China

Ning AN1(), Bangxing LIANG2   

  1. 1. Centre for Human Geography and Urban Development, School of Geographical Science, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
    2. School of Geographical Science, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510063, China
  • Online:2017-12-20 Published:2017-12-20
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41701149;The Innovation Project of Graduate School of South China Normal University, No.2016lkxm88


The National Science Foundation of China (NSFC) has the purpose to support projects with the most practical value and advanced research in certain subject areas, which to a significant extent reflect the progress and the overall level of related studies. Based on the analysis of the funding situation of NSFC (in both natural sciences and social sciences), as well as political geographical research-related journal articles published by NSFC funding recipients, this study reached the following conclusions. First, political geographical research has been recently recognized by NSFC, in particular since 2011. The main research centers are located in Beijing, Guangzhou, Kunming, and Shanghai. Second, Chinese political geographical research has primarily focused on issues of borderlands and boundaries, environmental politics, territory (sovereignty and security), administrative division and governance, scale and space, and social and cultural politics. Finally, it can be concluded that Chinese political geographical research is increasingly connected to international political geographical research despite that Chinese political geography has its own feature, such as the studies on administrative division and governance. Alongside the increasing support from NSFC, we look forward to a disciplinary development of political geography with Chinese-characteristics by focusing on the international research frontier of political geography and demands within China.

Key words: National Science Foundation of China, political geography, funding situation, subject development, China