APARC_China Program_Research

Village official talking to China Program faculty, Jean Oi and Xueguang Zhou, and researchers from the NDRC during fieldwork in China.


Our Approach

Facilitating multidisciplinary, social science-oriented research, both basic and policy-relevant, on pressing challenges related to contemporary China.

Unlike programs that operate within a single social science discipline or an exclusive national-area focus, the China Program promotes interdisciplinary research covering wide-ranging topics, from China’s international behavior and its Belt and Road Initiative to Chinese governance, and from the country’s fiscal reform to its domestic health policies and economics of inequality and education.

In these fractious times of increasing uncertainty in international relations, volatile geopolitics, and unprecedented threats to the global economy, it is all the more important to better understand China. Towards this goal, we actively pursue research collaborations with scholars and leading organizations in China and provide on-campus and in-country research opportunities for Stanford students and faculty

Current Research Projects

Chinese construction workers in Colombo, Sri Lanka

China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Political Actors and Agendas

Taking an institutional and micro-level approach, this project questions whether – rather than accepts that – China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a tightly coordinated central state effort and investigates its nature and implications.
World flags, with China's at the front, at the south entrance of Expo 2010 Shanghai, near the Expo Boulevard, in front the China pavilion.

China and the World: Strategies, Partners, Shapers

Redressing the imbalance in most analyses of China’s international behavior, this project examines the actions of China’s partners and how they have shaped Chinese foreign policy and the outcomes of its engagements with other countries.
Ancient and modern buildings in Beijing

Fiscal Politics and Central-Local Relations in China

The fate of the Chinese development model largely depends on the prospects of striking the right balance between central control and local discretion. This research project examines that dynamic by probing China’s local government debt problem.

Poster: "Advance Courageously Under the Guidance of the Red Flag of Mao Zedong Thought", 1966

Political Violence and State Repression

One of the largest rebellions of the 20th century that took place in China has been little explored due to government censorship. This project draws on highly classified materials that open up a window to understanding this major upheaval.
Landscape and skyline of Shenzhen,, China

Structural Change in China: The Role of Institutions

Forty years into China's reform process, thorny political problems challenge the core principles of the Chinese Community Party. This project examines how China’s political institutions help or hinder continued reform and the challenges they face ahead.
Children in China study in a classroom

The Institutional Foundations of the Chinese Bureaucratic State

By merging analytic and ethnographic research on Jiangsu Province, one of China’s fastest-growing provinces, a unique study offers new insights into the dynamics of the contemporary Chinese bureaucracy through the lens of personnel management.
Scholars during a panel discussion

Do Research with the China Program

We offer multiple fellowship and training opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals.

Andrew Walder and Barry Naughton at a panel discussion

Browse Our Publications

We share our research findings through peer-reviewed journals, scholarly and trade presses, policy reports, and Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center’s publishing program.

Explore More at the China Program