Dr Gerry Groot

Dr Gerry Groot
 Position Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies
 Org Unit Asian Studies
 Email gerry.groot@adelaide.edu.au
 Telephone +61 8 8313 4312
 Location Floor/Room 6 38A ,  Kenneth Wills ,   North Terrace
  • Biography/ Background

    BA(Honours) (Adelaide); PhD (Adelaide).

    Born in Murray Bridge and raised in South Australia's South East, notably Millicent, Gerrry graduated from Millicent Highschool and later went on to do a BA at the University of Adelaide as a mature age student having been a labourer, tree faller, and would-be park ranger.

    At the University of Adelaide, Gerry fell into the study of Chinese to complement his interests in history and politics. Under the wonderful teaching of Prof Andrew Watson, Sylvia Chan, Hsu Chiacheng,and Prof Trevor Wilson among others, he was inspired to go on to do Honours and wrote his thesis on the Chinese historiography of united front work.

    Gerry subsequently spent several years at Shanghai's East China Normal University (华东师范大学) as a language student before returning to Adelaide to commence a PhD on united front work and China's minor parties and groups.

    While in China, Gerry experienced the sweet & sour of the liuxuesheng life. Among the highlights were appearances in Chinese movies and TV series, most notably Shanghai Yi Jia Ren (A Shanghai Family 上海一家人) in which he acted atrociously but had a key role, and Xiao Dao Ji (The Small Knives Society小刀会) in which he acted as the only Western good guy.

    Perhap more importantly, he also appeared as an extra in Jackie Chan's Drunken Master II. He is in two scenes so look out for him!

    A revised version of Gerry's PhD thesis appeared in 2004 as the book, Managing Transitions: The Chinese Communist Party, united front work, corporatism and Hegemony (Routledge) which was launched by the then opposition spokesman on foreign affairs, Kevin Rudd.

    Since 2004 Gerry has published on a variety of issues including crisis management in China, soft power, contemporary united front work, and South Australia-China relations.

    Gerry has wide-ranging interests and teaches on Asian studies, the impact of Asian influences on shaping Western societies, to Chinese politics, religion and culture.

    Other interests include the diffusion of Chinese and Asian food styles and Western attempts to encapsulate oriental themes in music. However, he neither cooks the recipes in his Chinese cookbook collection, nor plays any of the kitsh tunes in his Orientalia music collection.

    Gerry coordinates and/or teaches in such courses as:

    • ASIA 1104 Negotiating Asia
    • ASIA 2007 Asia Cultures & Identities
    • ASIA 1103 Asia & the World
    • ASIA 2008 China Today Politics & Governance (Formerly Contemporary China)


    In July 2015, 5-9, Gerry Groot convened the ninth International Convention of Asian Scholars, ICAS 9, at the Adelaide Convention Centre, as the Convenor of the Adelaide ICAS9 Committee consisting of representatives of the University of Adelaide, Flinders University and the University of South Australia. See www.ICAS9.com

    A key part of ICAS9 was InterculturAdelaide, with generous support from the State Government of South Australia, this was the first extensive discussion of interculturality in South Australia with keynotes by Prof Prasenjit Duara (National University of Singapore), Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (Selangor State Executive Council and State Assembly in Malaysia), and Prof Gary Bouma (Monash University) examined the relevance of religious and secular diversity and interculturality in our region. This part of ICAS was convened by Amrita Malhi and Gerry Groot.

    In 2010 the Centre for Asian Studies hosted the 18th Biennial Asian Studies Conference of Australia Conference convened by Prof Purnendra Jain with Gerry  Groot as Co-Convenor.

    In 2006 after a successful application to the Australian Research Council to host the 2008 ARC Asia-Pacific Signature Event, Gerry was Convener of Adelaide Asian Studies Group 2008 ARC-APFRN Signature Event Conference Organising Committee.

    Between December First and Fifth 2008 the Adelaide Asian Studies Group, a consortium of Asian Studies scholars from all three South Australian universities, hosted the Globalising Religions and Cultures in the Asia: Crossing Borders of Meaning Conference http://www.adelaide.edu.au/sigevent08/

  • Teaching Interests

    Gerry has a particular interest in the problems new students face when they are making the transition to tertiary studies from high school or the workforce, coping with argument writing and plagiarism issues etc.

    In 2002 Gerry was awarded a $20,000 UA Learning and Teaching Development Grant, Assessing Key Skills of First Year Students in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences with Sandra Taylor (UA Geography). This resulted in comprehensive set of suggestions for improving student transitions to academic study at university. 

    Gerry also participated in the Deane Fergie-led initiative, Pre-Orientation: A research-learning approach to university project which seeks to address problems of transition and to stress the centrality of research to universities.

  • Research Interests

    The idea and applicability of Nye's concept of soft power to Asia

    Conspiracy theory issues in China

    The contemporary practice and history of Chinese Communist Party united front work

    Chinese conceptions of cultural security (文化安全), comprehensive national security (综合国力) etc.

    The intersection of business and politics in China

    Chinese folk religion, especially ghost culture (鬼文化)

    The Falun Gong phenomenon

    Asian influences shaping Western culture, especially gastronomic ones and musical ones

    Cookbooks, both Asian and those catering to men in particular. To hear discussions on mens cookbooks, you can listen to Gerry being interviewed by Ewart Shore on Radio Adelaide discussing food-fit-for-fellas/ and Blokes-book-of-cooking.


  • Publications

    Groot G. (2017) “Cool Japan versus the China threat: Does Japan’s Popular Culture Success Mean More Soft Power?,” in Kayoko Hashimoto (Ed) Japanese Language and Soft Power in Asia (Palgrave MacMillan)  

    Groot G. (2017) “Making the World Safe (for China),” in Jane Golley, Linda Jaivin and Luigi Tomba (Eds.) China Yearbook 2016, ANU Press, Canberra pp.??.

     Groot G. (2016) “An Outsider’s View of United Front Work as a Contribution to Chinese Socialism” in 《马克思主义与当代中国论丛》No.3 Forum on Marxism and Contemporary China, Wuhan University, pp149-156.

    (Paper presented at the Second International Symposium, on Marxism and Socialism in the 21st Century, Wuhan University Collaborative Center of Marxist Theory and Chinese Practice, November 20-23.

     Groot G. (2016) “The Expansion of United Front Work Under Xi Jinping,” Forum article in Gloria Davies, Jeremy Goldkorn & Luigi Tomba (Eds.) China Yearbook 2015, ANU Press, Canberra pp.168-177.

    Groot G. 2016 "Chinese Growing Social Inequality Prompts Stronger Social Control," China Brief, Jamestown Foundation, Vol. 16 No. 4 February 23.

    Groot G. (2016) “The Contradictions of Developmentalism and the Chinese Party-State’s Goal of Ethnic Harmony: the case of Xinjiang,” Chapter in Curt Andressen (Ed) China’s Changing Economy: Trends, Impacts and the Future (Chinese Academy of Social Science - Flinders University) Routledge.

    (2015) (October) Amrita Malhi, Gerry Groot & Annie Drahos, InterculturAdelaide: Cultural Adaptivity for the Asian Century Draft Report 2, Prepared for the State Government of South Australia as part of InterculturAdelaide, ICAS9 July 7 2015.

    Groot G. (2015) "The United Front in an Era of Shared Destiny," in Geremie R. Barmé, Linda Jaivin and Jeremy Goldkorn (Eds) China Yearbook, 2014 Shared Destiny (Australian Centre for China in the World, Australian National University, Canberra).  

    Groot G. (2013) “The Leadership Transition,” in Geremie R. Barmé and Jeremy Goldkorn (Eds) China Yearbook, 2013 Civilising China (Australian Centre for China in the World, Australian National University, Canberra) pp.22-31.  Download a copy of the Yearbook here: http://www.thechinastory.org/yearbooks/yearbook-2013/

     Groot G. with Roderick O’Brien (2012) “The Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work with the Legal Profession.,” Hong Kong Law Journal, vol.42, no.3, pp. 939-970. 

    Gerry Groot (2012) “A History of the Centre for Asian Studies at the University of Adelaide,” pp. 51-80 in Nicholas Harvey, et al (Eds) The Faculty of Arts at the University of Adelaide (1876-2012) (University of Adelaide Press, Adelaide). http://www.adelaide.edu.au/press/titles/faculty-arts/

    Groot G. (2012) “A Self-defeating Secret Weapon? The Institutional Limitations of Corporatism on United Front Work Effectiveness in 21st Century China” in Jennifer Hsu and Reza Hasmath (Eds) The Chinese Corporatist State: Adaptation, Survival and Resistance (Routledge).



    Groot G. & Glen Stafford (2012) “China - South Australia Relations 1836-2011,” in Purnendra Jain & John Spoehr (Eds) The Engaging State: South Australia’s Engagement with the Asia Pacific (The Wakefield Press, Adelaide).

    Groot G. (2006) “Soft Power in the Asia-Pacific post 9-11: The Cases of China, Japan and India,” Ch 4 in Groot G. & Jain, P. & Patrikeeff, F. (Eds) Asia-Pacific and a New International Order (New York, Nova Publishers).

    Groot G. (2004) Managing Transitions: The Chinese Communist Party, United Front Work, Corporatism and Hegemony (Taylor & Francis, New York).


    Groot, G. (2002) "Crises in China and Potential Dangers for Asia" In Purnendra Jain (Ed) Crisis and Conflict in Asia (New York, Nova Science Publishers, Inc.)


    Groot, G. (May 1998) ‘“Petrol stations”? Political Education in China’s Institutes of Socialism’, Issues and Studies, Vol. 34, No. 5 (Taibei, Taiwan, ROC).


    Groot, G. (1993) ‘外国人怎么看中国统一战线?’ [How foreigners see China’s united front.] Shanghai Tongyi zhanxian lilun yanjiu [Shanghai United Front Theoretical Research], 3, pp. 34-36.



    (2015) Special Invited Paper (2015) “An Outsider’s View of United Front Work as a Contribution to Chinese Socialism” the Second International Symposium, on Marxism and Socialism in the 21st Century, Wuhan University Collaborative Center of Marxist Theory and Chinese Practice, November 20-23.


    (2014) "Contingency & the Potential Utility of China's Soft Power Investment," Asian Studies Association of Australia 20th Biennial Conference, University of Western Australia, July 8-10.


    (2013) "Real Men  don't Eat Quiche do they? Men's Cookbooks since World War Two," Food Studies: A Multi-Discpilinary Menu Conference, University of Adelaide, February 17-19.


    (2013) "Taking Economic Development as the Key Goal of United Front Work," Chinese Academy of Social Sciences - Flinders University Centre for  United States and the Asia Policy Studies (CUSAPS)  November 17-19.


    (2013) "Searching for a New Spirit, Xi Jinping's China Dream," CSAA 13th Biennial Conference, Hobart, July 10-11.


    (2012) “Having it Both Ways? Increasing Chinese Soft Power abroad while Intensifying Cultural Security at Home,” Asia Institute, Melbourne Conference on China “Global Media and Public Diplomacy in Sino-Western Relations, May 30 & 31.


    (2012) “A History of an Australian Asian Studies Centre: From Promise, to Problem to Boon?” Asian Studies Association of Australia 19th Biennial Conference, University of Western Sydney, July 11-13.


    (2011) “The Limits of Corporatism & China's Democratic Parties Today,” Chinese Studies Association of Australia 12th Biennial Conference, Australian National University, Canberra July 13-15.


    (2010) With Glen Stafford, “South Australia’s Relations with China 1836-2011,” Asian Studies Association of Australia 18th Biennial Conference, University of Adelaide, July 5-8.


    (2009) “Chinese Cookbooks in English: Between the Exotic & the Affordable,” 17th Symposium of Australian Gastronomy, “Gastronomic Economics,” National Wine Centre, Adelaide Nov 13 -16.


    (2009) “The Emergence of The Idea of "Cultural Security;" Meanings, Background and Implications for a Potential New Ideology in China's Evolving Propaganda State,” Chinese Studies Association of Australia 11th Biennial Conference, Sydney University, Sydney, July 9-11.


    (2007) “Chinese Soft Power,” Chinese Studies Association of Australia 10th Biennial Conference, Griffith University, Brisbane, June 27-29.


    (2005) “China: The Next Soft Super Power?” Chinese Studies Association of Australia 9th Biennial Conference, Bendigo, June 30–3 July.


    (2005) “Soft Power in the Asia Pacific Post 9-11,” International Symposium on Asia-Pacific and a New International Order: Responses and Options, University of Adelaide, January 27-28.


    (2004) “Chinese and Japanese Soft power?” Asian Studies Association of Australia 15th Biennial Conference, 2004, Australian National University, Canberra, June 29-2 July.


    (2003) “Soft Power Post 9/11 War and Peace-building in the Market Era,” War, Conflict and Nation Building Roundtable, University of Adelaide Sept 24-25


    (2001) ‘Crises in China and the CCP,’ Crisis in Asia: Local, Regional and International Implications Conference. University of Adelaide, February 16-17.


    (1997) ‘Preventing Pluralism: The United Front and the Neutralisation of Emerging Pluralism,’ Chinese Studies Association of Australia 5th Biennial Conference, University of Adelaide, July.


    (1995) “Petrol Stations”? What They Are And What They Are Filling People’s Heads With?” at Australasian Association for Communist and Post-Communist Studies Conference, Latrobe University, Melbourne, September.


    (1995) ‘China’s Minor Democratic Political Parties As Corporatist Interest Groups: Classic State Corporatism?’ at Chinese Studies Association of Australia 4th Biennial Conference, Macquarie University, July.



    The Nature and History of the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work: How the CCP manages relations with key interest groups such as intellectuals, religious believers, ethnic minorities, Overseas Chinese, newly emerging business groups and others.


    How beliefs in Qi, Fengshui, Ghosts and Other Ideas Shape Chinese Culture A planned volume on the origins and meaning of ghosts in Chinese traditional and contemporary culture, the nature and consequences of beliefs in Qi, fengshui, numerology and the like.


    The Asian West: How Asian Influences have shaped Western culture: a longitudinal study of how what is often taken as Western is in fact a complex mix of Eastern and Western influences. 

  • Professional Associations

    Board Member, China in the World, Australian National University, Canberra (2011-) 

    President, Chinese Studies Association of Australia, July 2013 - July 2015

    Asian Studies Association of Australia China representative

    Asia Association for Global Studies

    The Australian Institute of International Affairs

    The Historical Society for Twentieth Century China

    In addition, Gerry has been an active contributor to lists including Chinapol, H-Asia and Chinese Internet Research

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Entry last updated: Thursday, 9 Aug 2018

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