ketian zhang

Ketian Zhang, Ph.D.

  • 2018-2019 Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellow in Contemporary Asia
616 Serra StreetEncina Hall E301Stanford, CA 94305-6055


Ketian Vivian Zhang joined the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) as the 2018-2019 Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellow in Contemporary Asia. Ketian studies coercion, economic sanctions, and maritime territorial disputes in international relations and social movements in comparative politics, with a regional focus on China and East Asia. She bridges the study of international relations and comparative politics and has a broader theoretical interest in linking international security and international political economy. Her book project examines when, why, and how China uses coercion when faced with issues of national security, such as territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas, foreign arms sales to Taiwan, and foreign leaders’ reception of the Dalai Lama. Ketian's research has been supported by organizations such as the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, Institute for Security and Conflict Studies at George Washington University, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation.

At Shorenstein APARC, Ketian worked on turning parts of her book project into academic journal papers while conducting fieldwork for her next major project: examining how target states of Chinese coercion respond to China's assertiveness, including the business community and ordinary citizens.

Ketian received her Ph.D. in Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2018, where she is also an affiliate of the Security Studies Program. Before coming to Stanford, Ketian was a Predoctoral Research Fellow in the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. Ketian holds a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was previously a research intern at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., where she was a contributor to its website Foreign Policy in Focus.