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Seán Golden

Sean Golden_foto

Associate Senior Researcher, CIDOB


Born of Irish parents in London. Early childhood in Ballina and Ballaghaderreen (Ireland). Schooled in Connecticut and Massachusetts (USA). PhD, University of Connecticut (USA). Returned to the home place in Ireland to live. Worked some years in Tianjin (China). Before China, a specialist in Irish Studies and James Joyce; after, a specialist in Chinese thought, politics, and international relations. Published in Ireland in Cyphers, The Crane Bag and The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, as well as Force 10, The Cathach II, The SHOp, The Stinging Fly and North West Words. Co-editor with Peter Fallon of Soft Day. A Miscellany of Contemporary Irish Literature. Numerous translations of Chinese poetry, classical and contemporary, as well as publications in Chinese Studies. Retired Full Professor, former Dean and former Director of the East Asia Studies & Research Centre of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). Senior Associate Researcher of the CIDOB Barcelona Centre for International Affairs and Associate Professor of the Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (IBEI). Divides his time now among Barcelona (Spain), Ballyconnell (Sligo, Ireland) and Beijing (China). He collaborates regularly with institutions and the media as one of the leading experts on China based in Spain.

Background and education

  • (1977) PhD, University of Connecticut (EEUU)
  • (1973) MA, University of Connecticut (EEUU)
  • (1969) AB, College of the Holy Cross (EEUU)


  • 2018Honorary Fellow, EastAsiaNet
  • 2017Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 1975Phi Beta Kappa

Professional memberships & affiliations

  • European Association for Chinese Studies (EACS)
  • Irish Association for Asian Studies (IAAS)


Research interests

  • East Asian Studies
  • Chinese Studies
  • Comparative Cultural Studies
  • Irish Studies

Research projects

  • FFI2015-70513-P, Asia Oriental: Paradigmas emergentes, politica(s), dinamicas socioculturales y sus consecuencias; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (Spain). Link

Selected publications

  • Golden, Seán.2018.New Paradigms for the New Silk Road.In:

    Carmen Mendes (ed.)

    China's New Silk Road. An Emerging World Order.London:Routledge,pp: 7-20.Link
  • Golden, Seán.2018.Will the Peace Process in Ireland Survive Brexit?.Opinión CIDOB,no. 539, June 2018, CIDOB Barcelone Centre for International Affairs, 1-3Link
  • Golden, Seán.2017.Ecological discourse and ecological risk in China.In:

    Daniele Brombal (ed.)

    Proceedings of the XV East Asia Net (EAN) Research Workshop.Venice:Edizioni Ca' Foscari,pp: 13-30.Link
  • Golden, Seán.2017.A 'China Model' for the 'New Era'.Opinión CIDOB,503, October 2017, CIDOB Barcelona Centre for International Affairs, 1-2Link
  • Golden, Seán.2015.Mao's Place in Xi's 'China Dream.Notes Internacionals CIDOB,num. 130, October 2015:1-5Link
  • Golden, Seán.2015.Particularities vs. Commonalities: Reform with Chinese Characteristics and Cross-Cultural Commonalities.In:

    Wang Lin (ed.)

    China's New Reforms: The Role of the Party. Papers from "The Party and the World Dialogue 2014.Beijing:Central Compilation and Translation Press,pp: 18-31.Link
  • Golden, Seán.2014.Hong Kong: Supervised Meritocracy or Unhindered People Power?.Opinión CIDOB,nº. 278, November 13Link
  • Golden, Seán.2013.China’s Fifth Generation of Leaders: an Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove.Notes Internacionals CIDOB,num. 66, January 2013:1-4Link
  • Golden, Seán.2011.China's Perception of Risk and the Concept of Comprehensive National Power.Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies,29(2), Political and Economic Decoupling and Risk Assessment in Contemporary Asia:79-109Link
  • Golden, Seán.2006.Socio-cultural aspects of the relationship between the EU and East Asia, with particular reference to China.Asia Europe Journal,Vol. 4, No. 2:265-294Link


  • Golden, Seán (2019) 'How to Construct a Common and Consensual Multicultural Civic Discourse', Sources of Democracy: Citizenship, Social Cohesion and Ethical Values, Venice Seminars and Summer School, Reset Dialogues on Civilizations (Reset DOC), Giorgio Cini Foundation, Mominoun Foundation and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Venice (Italy), 25 May 2019.
  • Golden, Seán (2019) 'Chinese Political Discourse and Chinese Political Reform', Sources of Democracy: Citizenship, Social Cohesion and Ethical Values, Venice Seminars and Summer School, Reset Dialogues on Civilizations (Reset DOC), Giorgio Cini Foundation, Mominoun Foundation and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Venice (Italy), 20 May 2019.
  • Golden, Sean (2018) "A 'China Model' for the 'New Era'”, 15th EastAsiaNet Workshop. East Asia–Europe Interactions. Economy, History, Politics and Society, University of Lodz, Poland, 12-14/04/2018.
  • Golden, Sean (2018) "¿Qué papel juegan las cultura orientales y qué pueden significar para occidente", Una mirada de conjunto al nuevo escenario estratégico y cultural. Ascenso del nuevo espacio Indo-Pacífico, Fundación Seminario de Investigación para la Paz, Zaragoza (Spainj), 19-20/01/2018.
  • Golden, Sean (2017) "Pushing the writerly limits as a vocation in Ireland: Aidan Higgins, Dermot Healy, Leland Bardwell ", IASIL 2017: Ireland’s Writers in the 21st Century, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 24-28/08/2017.
  • Golden, Sean (2016) "Constructing a common and consensual multicultural civic discourse", IALIC 2016. Bridging across languages and cultures in everyday lives. New roles for changing scenarios, International Association for Language and Intercultural Communication, Barcelona, Spain (25-27 November 2016.
  • Golden, Sean (2016) "China en el mundo: ¿el ascenso de una hegemonía?", La crisis i la reconfiguración de la geopolítica mundial, Cursos de Verano, Universidad Complutense, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, 11-15/07/2016.
  • Golden, Sean (2016) "Commemorating the anonymous. British imperialist discourse in China and its backlash among the Irish", Irish Association for Asian Studies (IAAS) First Annual Conference, Dublin City University (Ireland), 17-18/06/2016.
  • Golden, Sean (2016) "Re-Imagining 'Asia' and 'Europe' along the New Silk Road", EastAsiaNet 10th Anniversary Research Workshop, University of Coimbra (Portugal), 26-28/05/2016.
  • Golden, Sean (2016) "Intereses y rivalidades en el mar de la China meridional", Intereses y rivalidades el los mares de la China oriental y meridional, Instituto Universitario General Gutiérrez Mellado (UNED), Madrid, 12/05/2016.
  • Golden, Sean (2015) "La presencia de la China en América Latina y África", Las relaciones exteriores de China: Nuevos Retos e inestabilidad financiera, CEI International Affairs, Barcelona, 03/12/2015.
  • Golden, Sean (2015) "Rapporteur, Panel 3. Governing the Party according to rules: state laws and Party Disciplines?", The Party and the World Dialogue 2015. Governing the Party according to rules: state laws and Party Disciplines?, China Center for Contemporary World Studies, Beijing (PRC), 7-10/09/2015.
  • Golden, Sean (2015) "A discourse analysis of the communication of ecological risk and its subsequent management in China", XV EastAsiaNet Workshop. Water in East Asia. Interfacing Environmental Risk, Culture & Society, Università Ca'Foscari Venezia, 14-16/05/2015.
  • Golden, Sean (2015) "Hymn sheets versus jam sessions. Can cultural diplomacy promote political plurality?", White Rose East Asia Centre (WREAC) - Foreign & Comminwealth Office (FCO) Foreign Policy Workshop, University of Sheffield, UK, 19-20/03/2015.
  • Golden, Sean (2015) "El papel del PCCh en la reforma política y en la gobernanza a través de las leyes", V Simposio Electrónico Internacional sobre Política China, 1-21/03/2015.
  • Golden, Sean (2014) "China's Reforms: Particularities vs. Commonalities", The Party and the World Dialogue 2014. China's New Reforms: the Role of the Party, China Center for Contemporary World Studies, Beijing (PRC), 2-8/09/2014.
  • Golden, Sean (2014) "Chinese school(s) of IR Theory", EACS 2014. From the origins of Sinology to current interdisciplinary rsearch approaches: Bridging the past and future of Chinese Studies, Coimbra, Portugal, 24-26/07/2014.
  • Golden, Sean (2014) "Chinese IR Theor(ies)", IBEI International Studies Conference, Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (IBEI), Barcelona, Spain, 19-20/06/2014.