Oriana Skylar Mastro

Headshot of Oriana Skylar Mastro

Oriana Skylar Mastro, PhD

  • Center Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
  • Courtesy Assistant Professor of Political Science

Shorenstein APARC
Stanford University
Encina Hall
Stanford,  CA  94305-6055

Biography

Oriana Skylar Mastro is a Center Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Courtesy Assistant Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, where her research focuses on Chinese military and security policy, Asia-Pacific security issues, war termination, and coercive diplomacy. She is also a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She was previously an assistant professor of security studies at Georgetown University. Mastro continues to serve in the United States Air Force Reserve, for which she currently works at the Pentagon as Deputy Director of Reserve Global China Strategy. For her contributions to U.S. strategy in Asia, she won the Individual Reservist of the Year Award in 2016 and 2022 (FGO).

She has published widely, including in International Security, Security Studies, Foreign Affairs, the Journal of Strategic Studies, The Washington Quarterly, the Economist, and the New York Times. Her most recent book, Upstart: How China Became a Great Power (Oxford University Press, 2024), evaluates China’s approach to competition. Her book, The Costs of Conversation: Obstacles to Peace Talks in Wartime (Cornell University Press, 2019), won the 2020 American Political Science Association International Security Section Best Book by an Untenured Faculty Member.

She holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University.

Her publications and commentary can be found at orianaskylarmastro.com and on Twitter @osmastro.

publications

Policy Briefs
September 2021

Military Competition With China: Harder Than the Cold War?

Author(s)
cover link Military Competition With China: Harder Than the Cold War?
Policy Briefs
April 2021

Chinese Intentions in the South China Sea

Author(s)
cover link Chinese Intentions in the South China Sea

Current research

In The News

Oriana Skylar Mastro and a cover of her book, "Upstart"
News

China's Strategic Path to Power

A new book by Stanford political scientist Oriana Skylar Mastro offers a novel framework, the “upstart approach," to explain China's 30-year journey to great power status through strategic emulation, exploitation, and entrepreneurship.
cover link China's Strategic Path to Power
A Chinese Coast Guard ship fires a water cannon at a Philippine Navy chartered vessel in the South China Sea
News

New Report Sheds Light on People's Liberation Army’s Role in Escalating Indo-Pacific Tensions

Through case studies on the People's Liberation Army’s close encounters with the militaries of Australia, India, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam, a new National Bureau of Asian Research report edited by Oriana Skylar Mastro assesses the strategic calculus behind the PLA's actions and implications for regional conflict and deterrence.
cover link New Report Sheds Light on People's Liberation Army’s Role in Escalating Indo-Pacific Tensions
Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) accompanies Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) to view an honor guard during a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People on June 25, 2016 in Beijing.
News

Deciphering the Nature of the Sino-Russian Military Alignment

A study by Oriana Skylar Mastro, published in the journal Security Studies, offers a novel framework for understanding great power military alignment, reveals the nuances of military cooperation between China and Russia, and dissects its implications for global security.
cover link Deciphering the Nature of the Sino-Russian Military Alignment

Selected Multimedia