Yuen Yuen Ang, a former postdoctoral student of China Program Director Jean Oi, has been awarded the Theda Skocpol Prize by the American Political Science Association in recognition of her “impactful empirical, theoretical and/or methodological contributions to the study of comparative politics.” The prize recognizes emerging academics up to ten years post-PhD for scholarly excellence in political science. Ang is a Stanford Ph.D. alumna and current associate professor of political science at the University of Michigan.
Her research examines how governments and governing organizations react to radical uncertainty and novel problems. She posits that such disruptions are an endemic condition of the twenty-first century, and that examining the political economies of adapting, or failing to adapt, to rapidly changing realities is a key to understanding current geopolitics.
At the center of Ang’s work is the study of China’s rise as a global superpower, which she characterizes as one of the greatest disruptions of the contemporary world. In her highly acclaimed and award-winning book, How China Escaped the Poverty Trap (2016), Ang challenges the conventional linear models of the political economy of development by applying the principles of complexity and system thinking to offer a new explanation of how China transformed itself from an impoverished planned economy into the world’s second-largest GDP.
Ang’s current work into debunking the myths surrounding the U.S.-China tech race, the misunderstanding of nuances of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the debates swirling around China’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to build on her record of excellent and innovative scholarship.
A big congratulations to Yuen Yuen for her latest recognition and ongoing contributions to the field of contemporary Asis studies!