Science of the united front aims to study significant issues regarding how to maintain diversity while promoting unity, how to ensure the leadership of the Communist party while realizing extensive people’s democracy and how to cohere internal forces while achieving external harmony in such a large and rapidly changing developing country in China. It involves issues concerning the maintenance of national constitution, improvement of political system, coordination of relations, resolution of conflicts, consensus building and harmonious development. It combines knowledge of politics, sociology, ethnology, religious studies and other disciplines. It is a new emerging scientific and cross discipline. To focus on the study of the united front is of great theoretical and practical significance for the development of the socialist political system and political discipline with Chinese characteristics.
According to Memorandum of Discipline of Science of the United Front Co-founded by Shandong University and the Central Institute of Socialism, which was signed in September 2013, the Research Center of the United Front by Shandong University and the Central Institute of Socialism was founded in October 2013with the purpose of providing institutional support for the development of the discipline, acting as an academic platform for cooperation and exchange between the two sides, and further integrating relevant domestic forces to strengthen scientific research in this area.
There are 29 full-time and part-time researchers working in the center, including 1 tenured professor, 25 professors and researchers, and 3 associate professors. And there are 17 doctoral supervisors and 24 master supervisors, among whom 15 people have received their PhDs.
Five research directions are pursued in the center, which are also the academic directions for doctoral and postgraduate students:(1) theories and policies of the united front;(2) China's political party system;(3) building theories and practice of participating parties ;(4) ethnic and religious theories in the united front;(5) theories of socialist consultative democracy.