International Journal of Social Science and Humanity (IJSSH)
Keynote Speaker I
Prof. Joseph Yu-shek CHENG
City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Joseph Yu-shek CHENG is Chair Professor of Political Science and Coordinator of the Contemporary China Research Project, City University of Hong Kong. He is the founding editor of the Hong Kong Journal of Social Sciences and The Journal of Comparative Asian Development. He has published widely on the political development in China and Hong Kong, Chinese foreign policy and local government in southern China. He has recently edited volumes on China: A New Stage of Development for An Emerging Superpower; and The Second Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR: Evaluating the Tsang Years 2005 -2012. He is now serving as convenor of the Alliance for True Democracy in Hong Kong.
Keynote Speech Title: Guangdong's Administrative Reforms in Recent Years
Abstract: The administrative reforms at various levels of local government in Guangdong demonstrate the dynamism in the province and the spirit of innovation among local government cadres. The local government cadres eagerly engage their counterparts in enhancing the attractive investment environment they offer and the level of satisfaction among people within their respective jurisdictions so as to improve their opportunities for career advancement. Naturally, they observe the limits set by the central leadership led by Xi Jinping.
They respond to traditional reform demands like streamlining the bureaucracies, and raising efficiency. They also cater for new demands to improve public services at the grassroots level, to absorb the emigrants by granting them better status and services in the urbanization process, and to exploit social organizations in the delivery of public services following the principle of "big society, small government".
The Hu Jintao administration realized the importance of providing a basic social security net covering the entire population in maintaining political and social stability. It embraced urbanization as inevitable and a force contributing to economic development. These two trends have been having a significant impact on the administrative and social governance reforms in Guangdong.
In containing the development of civil society and enhancing social control, the Guangdong authorities attempt to improve the delivery of public services at the grassroots level while strengthening community Party organization. Social organizations are now given a role in the delivery of public services so that they would be a new form of mass organization. Those which have been absorbed into the formal service network have been given funding support, and their leaders have been granted honours ranging from various advisory posts to support for elections to the people's congress system. Those which insist on retaining their autonomous nature now face greater pressure and less room for survival under Xi Jinping and the provincial Party secretary Hu Chunhua.
In view of the relative prosperity of Guangdong, it has the potential of developing a Singaporean-style of effective governance, which relies on economic development, improvements in public service delivery and responsive governance down to the grassroots level to maintain social and political stability. But as demonstrated by the Wukan riots, corruption remains a serious cause for grievances. Meanwhile, civil society is growing; and it will be able to challenge the authorities effectively in the coming decade.
Keynote Speaker II
Prof. Robert J. Taormina
Psychology Department, University of Macau, Macau
Robert J. Taormina (Ph.D., University of California) is an Emeritus Full Professor, has published more than 100 journal articles and conference papers, and has been cited more than 1000 times in books and journals around the world. He has taught and lectured in universities in Europe, Africa, America, Oceania (New Zealand), and in several Asian countries, including Mainland China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau, where he is an Emeritus Full Professor and a senior advisor on research ethics for the Rector's Office. His research interests include theoretical and empirical studies in applied social psychology, leadership excellence, organizational psychology, personal resilience, and cross-cultural comparisons. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Leadership in Education from the International Institute for Advanced Studies in Systems Science (Europe), Best Reviewer Awards from the International Division of the Academy of Management, and a Distinguished Scholar Award from UNESCO. He also serves on editorial boards of several international scholarly journals.
Keynote Speech Title: Adherence to Chinese Traditional Values: Correlates and Determinants
Abstract: Adherence to traditional Chinese values was tested using a two-factor measure of traditional values with data from 309 Chinese adults to assess their personal and public observance of traditional Chinese values. Adherence was compared with several demographic variables, and a set of social and psychological measures, as possible statistical predictors of living by traditional values. Life Satisfaction (as measured by feelings of personal accomplishment) was also tested as a possible outcome of living according to traditional values. Results found significant positive correlations between adherence to both Personal and Public Traditional Values and the demographics of Age, Marital Status, Monthly Income, and Residence (but no significant correlations with Gender, Education, or Religious Conviction). Also, both types of traditional values had highly significant positive correlations with Family Emotional Support, Conscientiousness, Physiological Needs Satisfaction, Safety-Security Needs Satisfaction, Individualism, and Collectivism. For predicting adherence to Chinese traditional values, regression analyses found that several of the demographic, social, and psychological variables were able to predict 26% of the variance for Personal Traditional Values, and 29% for Public Traditional Values. An additional regression revealed that adherence to Public Traditional Values was a significant predictor of one’s personal accomplishments in life.
Keynote Speaker III
Dr. Houssain Kettani
Florida Polytechnic University, USA
Dr. Houssain Kettani received the Bachelor's degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Eastern Mediterranean University at Famagusta, North Cyprus, in 1998, and Master’s and Doctorate degrees both in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Wisconsin, USA in 2000 and 2002, respectively.
Dr. Kettani served as faculty member at the University of South Alabama at Mobile, Alabama, USA in 2002-2003, Jackson State University at Jackson, Mississippi, USA in 2003-2007, Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico at San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA in 2007-2012, Fort Hays State University at Hays, Kansas, USA in 2012-2016 and Florida Polytechnic University at Lakeland, Florida, USA, since 2016.
Dr. Kettani has served as Staff Research Assistant at Los Alamos National Laboratory at Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA in summer of 2000, Visiting Research Professor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory at Oak Ridge, Tennessee in summers of 2005 to 2011, Visiting Research Professor at the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, Alaska, USA in summer of 2008 and Visiting Professor at the Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Tennessee in summer of 2010.
Dr. Kettani’s research interests include computational science and engineering, high performance computing algorithms, information retrieval, network traffic characterization, number theory, robust control and optimization, and Muslim population studies. He presented his research in over sixty refereed conference and journal publications and his work received over four hundred citations by researchers all over the world. He authored The World Muslim Population, History and Prospect, which was published in 2014 by Research Publishing Service, and is the topic of his talk. He chaired over hundred international conferences throughout the world and successfully secured external funding in millions of dollars for research and education from US federal agencies such as NSF, DOE, DOD, and NRC.
Keynote Speech Title: The World Muslim Population, History and Prospect
Abstract: The birth of Islam over fourteen centuries ago was a monumental event in human history with an everlasting effect on humanity. For centuries researchers contemplated on the growth and distribution of Muslims throughout the world. The purpose of this manuscript is to present a reliable estimate of the world Muslim population since the inception of Islam at the start of the seventh century to the end of the twenty-first century. In this book, the world is divided into five continents, each is divided into non-overlapping regions, and these in turn are divided into current countries. A centennial data estimate for each region and current country from 600AD to 2100AD (approximately 1H to 1500H) of the total population, and corresponding Muslim population and its percentage is provided. Furthermore, the same data in decennial order from 1790 to 2100 (or 1210H to 1520H) is provided for each region and country. These data are summarized to be a reference for other studies and discussions related to the Muslim population. The presented data show that the percentage of world Muslim population with respect to the total world population has increased steadily from 3% in 700AD or 100H to 7% in 800AD or 200H, to 11% in 900AD or 300H, to 13% in 1000AD or 400H, reaching 16% in 1700AD or 1100H. But it dropped to 13% in 1800AD or 1200H, to increase to 14% in 1900AD or 1300H. This percentage has been increasing by one percentage point per decade since 1950AD or 1370H, reaching 25% in 2020AD or 1440H. The rate of increase of the world Muslim population is expected to slow down, increasing their percentage to 30% by 2050AD or 1470H and 35% by 2100AD or 1520H.