Is the Chinese Century of capital upon us? Is it time to announce Asia as the regional centre of capitalism, a title heretofore associated with the United States?

These questions and associated themes will be front and centre when more than 50 scholars from around Australian and the world converge on Brisbane later this week for an international conference on Global Capitalism in Asia and Oceania.

The two-day event on Friday and Saturday is hosted by Griffith University’s Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing, Facility of Arts and School of Humanities.

The emergence of a transnational capitalist class in China is a leading research focus for Jerry Harris, Professor of History at DeVry University, Chicago, who will deliver the keynote address to the conference on Friday.

“His address will undoubtedly set a theme for the conference,” says Associate Professor Georgina Murray, a researcher of political economics and sociology at Griffith’s Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing.

“There has been a capital shift towards Asia in recent years, and primarily towards China where it is extremely well coordinated and works very well for state-centred capitalists. In the eyes of many it appears the way of the future.

“Scholars attending the conference will consider this proposition. But while China is central to many of these discussions, they will also involve subjects like climate change, the mining sector, tax havens, divisions of information labour in India, elite education and philanthropy as they strive to find out where our economic future lies.”

Global issues such as democratic capitalism, cosmopolitanism and the emergence of transnational capitalism will provide context for the academic analysis.

Other noteworthy presenters include Kanishka Jayasuriya, Professor of International Politics, University of Adelaide and the Director of the Indo-Pacific Governance Research Centre; Jane Kenway, Professor of Global Education Studies at Monash University; Tom Bramble, who teaches in Industrial Relations and International Business at the University of Queensland; and Frank Stilwell, Professor of Political Economy, University of Sydney.

Griffith academics will also be joined at the conference by scholars from University of Western Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, University of Melbourne, Deakin University, Victoria University, Swinburne University of Technology, University of Canberra and University of Southern Queensland at the Ship Inn Function Room on Friday and Saturday, June 28-29.