Andrew G. Walder is the Denise O'Leary and Kent Thiry Professor at Stanford University, where he is also a senior fellow in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Previously, he served as chair of the Department of Sociology, and as director of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and of the Division of International, Comparative and Area Studies in the School of Humanities and Sciences.
A political sociologist, Walder has long specialized in the sources of conflict, stability, and change in communist regimes and their successor states. His publications on China have ranged from the political and economic organization of the Mao era to changing patterns of stratification, social mobility, and political conflict in the post-Mao era. Another focus of his research has been on the political economy of Soviet-type economies and their subsequent reform and restructuring. His current research focuses on popular political mobilization in late-1960s China and the subsequent collapse and rebuilding of the Chinese party-state.
Walder joined the Stanford faculty in 1997. He received his Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Michigan in 1981 and taught at Columbia University before moving to Harvard in 1987. From 1995 to 1997, he headed the Division of Social Sciences at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Walder has received fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. His books and articles have won awards from the American Sociological Association, the Association for Asian Studies, and the Social Science History Association. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
His recent and forthcoming books include Fractured Rebellion: The Beijing Red Guard Movement (Harvard University Press, 2009); China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed (Harvard University Press, 2015); Agents of Disorder: Inside China’s Cultural Revolution (Harvard University Press, 2019); and A Decade of Upheaval: The Cultural Revolution in Feng County (Princeton University Press, 2021) (with Dong Guoqiang). His recent and forthcoming articles include “After State Socialism: Political Origins of Transitional Recessions.” American Sociological Review 80, 2 (April 2015) (with Andrew Isaacson and Qinglian Lu); “The Dynamics of Collapse in an Authoritarian Regime: China in 1967.” American Journal of Sociology 122, 4 (January 2017) (with Qinglian Lu); “Generating a Violent Insurgency: China’s Factional Warfare of 1967-1968.” American Journal of Sociology 126, 1 (July 2020) (with James Chu); and “The Impact of Class Labels on Life Chances in China,” American Journal of Sociology 124, 4 (January 2019) (with Donald J. Treiman).