Junyan Jiang received his PhD in political science from the University of Chicago in August 2016. He is broadly interested in informal institutions, public opinion, and elite-mass interactions in authoritarian regimes, with a special focus on China. His book project, Fragmented Unity: Patronage Politics and Authoritarian Resilience in China, examines how informal patron-client networks shaped the patterns of political and economic governance in China. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that these informal networks are merely a source of conflicts, corruption, and inefficiency, this book argues that they are the central institution that binds actors across different levels, structures political competition among the elites, and lays the foundation upon which formal institutions can properly function. Drawing a large, original biographical database of over 4,000 of city, provincial, and central-level elites, and in-depth interviews with current and retired officials from 5 provinces, this book demonstrates that patronage networks contributed to the regime’s resilience by sustaining credible power sharing at the national level and by providing agents with high-powered incentives to undertake challenging developmental and policy tasks at the local level. In addition to the book manuscript, Junyan is also currently working on several projects that examine informal state-business relations and the policy consequences of internet-based participation in China. His research was supported by the Ford Foundation and the National Science Foundation and has appeared in journals such as Comparative Political Studies. He received his B.A in economics and finance from the University of Hong Kong.
Jackson Woods received his Ph.D. from the George Washington University in 2016. His dissertation research, Online Foreign Policy Discourse in Contemporary China, examines both the emergence of online dissent concerning foreign policy issues and variation in the state's response to such events. Utilizing an original dataset containing hundreds of millions of social media posts, it argues that the combination of popular nationalist sentiments and the relative effectiveness of official propaganda can help explain the outcomes we observe on the Chinese Internet. Challenges will typically only emerge when the government mishandles an issue of nationalist significance. Meanwhile, online repression of the public's foreign policy discourse centers on "surprising" events: those for which the CCP has difficulty deploying ready-made response narratives. His broader interests include Chinese public opinion, Chinese security, text analysis, and survey research. His work has appeared in peer-reviewed publications such as the Journal of Contemporary China, and he has spent over two years living in China for study and research. He received his B.A. in Chinese Studies and Political Science from the University of Michigan.
Sungmin Rho is currently an assistant professor of political science at Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies at Geneva. Her research interests focus on political economy of authoritarian states. Her book project, titled Atomized Incorporation: labor management strategies in the post-reform China, explores the ways in which the state-labor relations have evolved by analyzing migrant workers' protest behavior. The research probes why the number of labor protests in China has increased despite the state's strong coercive capacity and why relatively better firms have been more prone to migrant workers' collective action. Based on an in-depth fieldwork and quantitative analyses of survey data and a survey experiment, her research suggests that the socioeconomic conditions during the 1980s and 1990s have diminished the Chinese state's incentives in maintaining labor repression. In this new political environment, migrant workers have engaged in labor protests when they expect attention from third-party actors including non-state foreign actors.
Yue Hou is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the CSCC 2015-2016 postdoctoral fellow. She received her Ph.D. in political science from MIT in September 2015. Her substantive interests include authoritarian institutions, ethnic politics, and business-state relations. Methodologically, she explores innovative ways to obtain data on authoritarian governance and to improve accuracy and efficiency of survey-based measures. Her book project, Participatory Autocracy: Private Entrepreneurs, Legislatures, and Property Protection in China, addresses the puzzle of why individuals in authoritarian systems seek office in formal institutions such as legislatures, which are often dismissed as weak and ineffective. Drawing on a wide variety of evidence including in-depth interviews, a nationally representative survey of private entrepreneurs and field experiments, she shows that individuals seek office mainly to protect their property from government expropriation in China. She received her B.A. in Economics and Mathematics from Grinnell College.
Xian Huang is an assistant professor in the Political Science Department at Rutgers University. Her research has focused on the politics of social inequality and redistribution in China. Xian received B.A. and M.A. from Peking University (Beijing, China) in 2006 and 2008 and Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University in 2014. Before joining Rutgers, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for the Study of Contemporary China at the University of Pennsylvania.
John is a research associate, and former post-doctoral fellow, of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for the Study of Contemporary China. He is an Assistant Professor of Chinese politics at Indiana University's Department of East Asian Languages and Culture and the School of Global and International Studies. His research focuses on issues related to regulatory governance, the political economy of development, and bureaucratic politics.
He is the author of Why is My Milk Blue? (Cambridge University Press, Under Review) which examines the regulatory politics involved in China's gut-wrenching food safety crisis. The book argues that in order to understand China's governance challenges, scholars must take a deeper look at the challenges large-scale countries face (in terms of scale externalities, multilevel coordination challenges, and problem identification). John has also written on regulatory politics and development issues in aviation safety, environmental protection, fishery conservation, and financial regulation.
He is published in Regulation and Governance, China Quarterly, and Journal of Politics. His work has also been cited by a number of media outlets, including the Guardian, New York Times, Financial Times, and Southern Weekly (南方周末).
He received his PhD in comparative politics from the University of California, Berkeley. John also holds an MPhil in comparative politics from the University of Oxford and a BA from Harvard College. Previously, he was an assistant professor at The Colorado College.
Xiaoying Liu received her Ph.D. in Economics from University College London. Her main research areas are in development economics and environmental and resource economics, with an emphasis on formal and informal institutions. Her PhD dissertation examines the impact of parents' migration on the education attainment of migrants' children who are left behind in rural China. She has also worked on projects examining the economic impacts of several environmental programs in China, such as Grain-for-Green and the natural forest conservation projects. As a main researcher, she also studied the biodiversity governance in China, by examining the industry structure, government regulations and land property rights in the case study of Liquorice regulation in Xinjiang, Northwest China.
Seung-Youn is an assistant professor of Political Science at Bryn Mawr College, specializing in international relations and comparative politics in East Asia. Her broader research interests include China’s industrial restructuring and upgrading, state-owned enterprise reform, the effects of national origin of foreign direct investment on local economic development, as well as China’s compliance pattern with international legal agreements. She was a research fellow on Peace, Governance, and Development in East Asia at the East Asia Institute in Korea (2015-2016), and is currently serving as a POSCO visiting fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu. She was also a visiting lecturer at the Shanghai branch of École Supérieure des Sciences Commerciales from 2009 to 2012, and a visiting scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Science in Beijing, China. Her recent articles have appeared in the China Quarterly, Asian Survey, and Business and Politics. Seung-Youn holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.A. in Political Science as valedictorian from Yonsei University in Korea. She spent a year as an undergraduate exchange student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.