Former Doctoral Students Win Prestigious Dissertation Awards

Interdisciplinary environmental scholar Shiran Victoria Shen is the recipient of the Harold D. Lasswell Award and political economist Lizhi Liu is the recipient of the Ronald H. Coase Award in recognition of their outstanding doctoral dissertations.
Shiran Shen (left) and Lizhi Liu (right) Shiran Shen (left) and Lizhi Liu (right).

APARC is pleased to share that Stanford alumnae Shiran Victoria Shen and Lizhi Liu have won prestigious awards for best dissertation in their fields. Both Shen and Liu earned their doctoral degrees in Political Science in 2018 and worked with Jean Oi, director of the China Program at APARC, during their tenure as doctoral students.

Shen, who is currently an assistant professor at the University of Virginia, has won the 2020 Harold D. Lasswell Award for her dissertation The Political Pollution Cycle: An Inconvenient Truth and How To Break It. The award is given annually by the American Political Science Association for “the best doctoral dissertation in the field of public policy.” Using a wide array of data, techniques, and research designs, Shen’s work explains how environmental change influences and is shaped by politics and policy. It centers on the critical case of air pollution control policies and uses China as a natural experiment.

Liu, whose doctoral research focuses on the political economy of e-commerce in China, has won the 2020 Ronald H. Coase Best Dissertation Award from the Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics. Her study proposes that China has devised a novel solution, that is, institutional outsourcing, to the central question of how developing states build market-supporting institutions. She is currently an assistant professor in the McDonough School of Business and a faculty affiliate of the Department of Government at Georgetown University.

Congratulations, Shiran and Lizhi, on your excellent work and prestigious awards!

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