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On October 6, 2021, the APARC China Program hosted the panel program, "Engaging China: Fifty Years of Sino-American Relations." In honor of her recently released book of the same title, Director of the Grassroots China Initiative Anne Thurston was joined by contributors Mary Bullock, President Emerita of Agnes Scott College; Thomas Fingar, Shorenstein APARC Fellow; and David M. Lampton, Professor Emeritus at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Thomas Fingar also moderated the panel.

Recent years have seen the U.S.-China relationship rapidly deteriorate. Engaging China brings together leading China specialists—ranging from academics to NGO leaders to former government officials—to analyze the past, present, and future of U.S.-China relations.

During their panel, Bullock, Fingar, Lampton, and Thurston reflected upon the complex and multifaceted nature of American engagement with China since the waning days of Mao’s rule. What initially motivated U.S.’ rapprochement with China? Until recent years, what logic and processes have underpinned the U.S. foreign policy posture towards China? What were the gains and the missteps made during five decades of America’s engagement policy toward China? What is the significance of our rapidly deteriorating bilateral relations today? Watch now: 

For more information about Engaging China or to purchase a copy, please click here.

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Was the strategy of engagement with China worthwhile? Experts Mary Bullock, Thomas Fingar, David M. Lampton, and Anne Thurston discuss their recent release, "Engaging China: Fifty Years of Sino-American Relations."


This is a virtual event. Please click here to register and generate a link to the talk. 
The link will be unique to you; please save it and do not share with others.

November 10, 5:00-6:15 p.m. California time / November 11, 9:00-10:15 a.m. China time

Based on his recent Oxford University Press book Protecting China's Interests Overseas: Securitization and Foreign Policy, Dr. Andrea Ghiselli will discuss the role of the actors that contributed to the emergence and evolution of China's approach to the protection of its interests overseas. He will show how the securitization of non-traditional security threats overseas played a key role in shaping the behavior and preferences of Chinese policymakers and military elites, especially with regard to the role of the armed forces in foreign policy. 

While Chinese policymakers were able to overcome important organizational challenges, the future of China's approach to the protection of its interests overseas remains uncertain as Chinese policymakers face important questions about the possible political and diplomatic costs associated with different courses of action.

For more information about Protecting China's Interests Overseas or to purchase a copy, please click here.

Portrait of Andrea Ghiselli
Dr. Andrea Ghiselli is an Assistant Professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University. He is also the Head of Research of the TOChina Hub's ChinaMed Project. His research focuses on the relationship between China's economic interests overseas and its foreign and defense policy. Besides his first monograph Protecting China's Interests Overseas: Securitization and Foreign Policy published by Oxford University Press, Dr. Ghiselli's research has been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals like the China Quarterly, the Journal of Strategic StudiesArmed Forces & Society, and the Journal of Contemporary China.


Via Zoom Webinar. Register at: https://bit.ly/3AUnPi3

Andrea Ghiselli Assistant Professor, School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University
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For 14 years, Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar has been a tireless Stanford professor who has strengthened the fabric of university’s interdisciplinary nature. Joining the faculty at Stanford Law School in 2001, Cuéllar soon found a second home for himself at the Freeman Spogli for International Studies. He held various leadership roles throughout the institute for several years – including serving as co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation. He took the helm of FSI as the institute’s director in 2013, and oversaw a tremendous expansion of faculty, research activity and student engagement. 

An expert in administrative law, criminal law, international law, and executive power and legislation, Cuéllar is now taking on a new role. He leaves Stanford this month to serve as justice of the California Supreme Court and will be succeeded at FSI by Michael McFaul on Jan. 5.

 As the academic quarter comes to a close, Cuéllar took some time to discuss his achievements at FSI and the institute’s role on campus. And his 2014 Annual Letter and Report can be read here.


You’ve had an active 20 months as FSI’s director. But what do you feel are your major accomplishments? 

We started with a superb faculty and made it even stronger. We hired six new faculty members in areas ranging from health and drug policy to nuclear security to governance. We also strengthened our capacity to generate rigorous research on key global issues, including nuclear security, global poverty, cybersecurity, and health policy. Second, we developed our focus on teaching and education. Our new International Policy Implementation Lab brings faculty and students together to work on applied projects, like reducing air pollution in Bangladesh, and improving opportunities for rural schoolchildren in China.  We renewed FSI's focus on the Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies, adding faculty and fellowships, and launched a new Stanford Global Student Fellows program to give Stanford students global experiences through research opportunities.   Third, we bolstered FSI's core infrastructure to support research and education, by improving the Institute's financial position and moving forward with plans to enhance the Encina complex that houses FSI.

Finally, we forged strong partnerships with critical allies across campus. The Graduate School of Business is our partner on a campus-wide Global Development and Poverty Initiative supporting new research to mitigate global poverty.  We've also worked with the Law School and the School of Engineering to help launch the new Stanford Cyber Initiative with $15 million in funding from the Hewlett Foundation. We are engaging more faculty with new health policy working groups launched with the School of Medicine and an international and comparative education venture with the Graduate School of Education. 


Those partnerships speak very strongly to the interdisciplinary nature of Stanford and FSI. How do these relationships reflect FSI's goals?

The genius of Stanford has been its investment in interdisciplinary institutions. FSI is one of the largest. We should be judged not only by what we do within our four walls, but by what activity we catalyze and support across campus. With the business school, we've launched the initiative to support research on global poverty across the university. This is a part of the SEED initiative of the business school and it is very complementary to our priorities on researching and understanding global poverty and how to alleviate. It's brought together researchers from the business school, from FSI, from the medical school, and from the economics department.  

Another example would be our health policy working groups with the School of Medicine. Here, we're leveraging FSI’s Center for Health Policy, which is a great joint venture and allows us to convene people who are interested in the implementation of healthcare reforms and compare the perspective and on why lifesaving interventions are not implemented in developing countries and how we can better manage biosecurity risks. These working groups are a forum for people to understand each other's research agendas, to collaborate on seeking funding and to engage students. 

I could tell a similar story about our Mexico Initiative.  We organize these groups so that they cut across generations of scholars so that they engage people who are experienced researchers but also new fellows, who are developing their own agenda for their careers. Sometimes it takes resources, sometimes it takes the engagement of people, but often what we've found at FSI is that by working together with some of our partners across the university, we have a more lasting impact.


Looking at a growing spectrum of global challenges, where would you like to see FSI increase its attention? 

FSI's faculty, students, staff, and space represent a unique resource to engage Stanford in taking on challenges like global hunger, infectious disease, forced migration, and weak institutions.  The  key breakthrough for FSI has been growing from its roots in international relations, geopolitics, and security to focusing on shared global challenges, of which four are at the core of our work: security, governance, international development, and  health. 

These issues cross borders. They are not the concern of any one country. 

Geopolitics remain important to the institute, and some critical and important work is going on at the Center for International Security and Cooperation to help us manage the threat of nuclear proliferation, for example. But even nuclear proliferation is an example of how the transnational issues cut across the international divide. Norms about law, the capacity of transnational criminal networks, smuggling rings, the use of information technology, cybersecurity threats – all of these factors can affect even a traditional geopolitical issue like nuclear proliferation. 

So I can see a research and education agenda focused on evolving transnational pressures that will affect humanity in years to come. How a child fares when she is growing up in Africa will depend at least as much on these shared global challenges involving hunger and poverty, health, security, the role of information technology and humanity as they will on traditional relations between governments, for instance. 


What are some concrete achievements that demonstrate how FSI has helped create an environment for policy decisions to be better understood and implemented?

We forged a productive collaboration with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees through a project on refugee settlements that convened architects, Stanford researchers, students and experienced humanitarian responders to improve the design of settlements that house refugees and are supposed to meet their human needs. That is now an ongoing effort at the UN Refugee Agency, which has also benefited from collaboration with us on data visualization and internship for Stanford students. 

Our faculty and fellows continue the Institute's longstanding research to improve security and educate policymakers. We sometimes play a role in Track II diplomacy on sensitive issues involving global security – including in South Asia and Northeast Asia.  Together with Hoover, We convened a first-ever cyber bootcamp to help legislative staff understand the Internet and its vulnerabilities. We have researchers who are in regular contact with policymakers working on understanding how governance failures can affect the world's ability to meet pressing health challenges, including infectious diseases, such as Ebola.

On issues of economic policy and development, our faculty convened a summit of Japanese prefectural officials work with the private sector to understand strategies to develop the Japanese economy.  

And we continued educating the next generation of leaders on global issues through the Draper Hills summer fellows program and our honors programs in security and in democracy and the rule of law. 


How do you see FSI’s role as one of Stanford’s independent laboratories?

It's important to recognize that FSI's growth comes at particularly interesting time in the history of higher education – where universities are under pressure, where the question of how best to advance human knowledge is a very hotly debated question, where universities are diverging from each other in some ways and where we all have to ask ourselves how best to be faithful to our mission but to innovate. And in that respect, FSI is a laboratory. It is an experimental venture that can help us to understand how a university like Stanford can organize itself to advance the mission of many units, that's the partnership point, but to do so in a somewhat different way with a deep engagement to practicality and to the current challenges facing the world without abandoning a similarly deep commitment to theory, empirical investigation, and rigorous scholarship.


What have you learned from your time at Stanford and as director of FSI that will inform and influence how you approach your role on the state’s highest court?

Universities play an essential role in human wellbeing because they help us advance knowledge and prepare leaders for a difficult world. To do this, universities need to be islands of integrity, they need to be engaged enough with the outside world to understand it but removed enough from it to keep to the special rules that are necessary to advance the university's mission. 

Some of these challenges are also reflected in the role of courts. They also need to be islands of integrity in a tumultuous world, and they require fidelity to high standards to protect the rights of the public and to implement laws fairly and equally.  

This takes constant vigilance, commitment to principle, and a practical understanding of how the world works. It takes a combination of humility and determination. It requires listening carefully, it requires being decisive and it requires understanding that when it's part of a journey that allows for discovery but also requires deep understanding of the past.

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Graduate Student, Political Science
SCPKU Pre-Doctoral Fellow, December 2014-March 2015

Lizhi Liu is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science with a primary research interest in Chinese political economy and international relations. She also holds a master degree in statistics. Her dissertation examines the political and social implications of the economic side of the Internet – eCommerce. More specifically, she studies how the rise of eCommerce affects state-business relations and local governance structure.


This talk will focus on the impact of the decision in 2003 to revive mediation as a key method of labor dispute resolution. In the context of changing economic and social conditions, including tighter labor markets, the Chinese state has pushed for more protection labor legislation, which has increased the number and severity of disputes. At the same time, the state has deemphasized legal channels for resolution, encouraging workers and employers to bypass adversarial litigation, reviving mediation as the preferred method of settlement. This case demonstrates the uses and limitations of “rule of law” under authoritarian rule and the contradiction of stronger laws with a resolution method that tends to deemphasize law and legal rights in favor of harmony and conciliation will be explored.

Stanford Center at Peking University

Mary E. Gallagher Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of Center for Chinese Studies Speaker University of Michigan

Shorenstein APARC
Stanford University
Encina Hall E301
Stanford, CA 94305-6055

(650) 723-9072 (650) 723-6530
Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Center Fellow at the Center for Health Policy and the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research
Faculty Research Fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research

Karen Eggleston is Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) at Stanford University and Director of the Stanford Asia Health Policy Program at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at FSI. She is also a Fellow with the Center for Innovation in Global Health at Stanford University School of Medicine, and a Faculty Research Fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Eggleston earned her PhD in public policy from Harvard University and has MA degrees in economics and Asian studies from the University of Hawaii and a BA in Asian studies summa cum laude (valedictorian) from Dartmouth College. Eggleston studied in China for two years and was a Fulbright scholar in Korea. Her research focuses on government and market roles in the health sector and Asia health policy, especially in China, India, Japan, and Korea; healthcare productivity; and the economics of the demographic transition. She served on the Strategic Technical Advisory Committee for the Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, and has been a consultant to the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the WHO regarding health system reforms in the PRC.

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Director of the Asia Health Policy Program, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
Stanford Health Policy Associate
Faculty Fellow at the Stanford Center at Peking University, June and August of 2016
Stanford Affiliate, Stanford Center on China's Economy and Institutions

Shorenstein APARC
Stanford University
Encina Hall, E301
Stanford, CA 94305-6055

(650) 725-6392 (650) 723-6530
Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Kwoh-Ting Li Professor in Economic Development
Professor of Sociology
Graduate Seminar Professor at the Stanford Center at Peking University, June and July of 2014
Stanford Affiliate, Stanford Center on China's Economy and Institutions

Xueguang Zhou is the Kwoh-Ting Li Professor in Economic Development, a professor of sociology, and a Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies senior fellow. His main area of research is on institutional changes in contemporary Chinese society, focusing on Chinese organizations and management, social inequality, and state-society relationships.

One of Zhou's current research projects is a study of the rise of the bureaucratic state in China. He works with students and colleagues to conduct participatory observations of government behaviors in the areas of environmental regulation enforcement, in policy implementation, in bureaucratic bargaining, and in incentive designs. He also studies patterns of career mobility and personnel flow among different government offices to understand intra-organizational relationships in the Chinese bureaucracy.

Another ongoing project is an ethnographic study of rural governance in China. Zhou adopts a microscopic approach to understand how peasants, village cadres, and local governments encounter and search for solutions to emerging problems and challenges in their everyday lives, and how institutions are created, reinforced, altered, and recombined in response to these problems. Research topics are related to the making of markets, village elections, and local government behaviors.

His recent publications examine the role of bureaucracy in public goods provision in rural China (Modern China, 2011); interactions among peasants, markets, and capital (China Quarterly, 2011); access to financial resources in Chinese enterprises (Chinese Sociological Review, 2011, with Lulu Li); multiple logics in village elections (Social Sciences in China, 2010, with Ai Yun); and collusion among local governments in policy implementation (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 2011, with Ai Yun and Lian Hong; and Modern China, 2010).

Before joining Stanford in 2006, Zhou taught at Cornell University, Duke University, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is a guest professor at Peking University, Tsinghua University, and the People's University of China. Zhou received his Ph.D. in sociology from Stanford University in 1991.


Department of Political Science
Stanford University
616 Serra Street
Stanford, CA 94305-26044

(650) 723-2843 (650) 725-9401
Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
William Haas Professor of Chinese Politics

Jean C. Oi is the William Haas Professor of Chinese Politics in the department of political science and a Senior Fellow of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. She is the founding director of the Stanford China Program at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. Professor Oi is also the founding Lee Shau Kee Director of the Stanford Center at Peking University.

A PhD in political science from the University of Michigan, Oi first taught at Lehigh University and later in the Department of Government at Harvard University before joining the Stanford faculty in 1997.

Her work focuses on comparative politics, with special expertise on political economy and the process of reform in transitional systems. Oi has written extensively on China's rural politics and political economy. Her State and Peasant in Contemporary China (University of California Press, 1989) examined the core of rural politics in the Mao period—the struggle over the distribution of the grain harvest—and the clientelistic politics that ensued. Her Rural China Takes Off (University of California Press, 1999 and Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 1999) examines the property rights necessary for growth and coined the term “local state corporatism" to describe local-state-led growth that has been the cornerstone of China’s development model. 

She has edited a number of conference volumes on key issues in China’s reforms. The first was Growing Pains: Tensions and Opportunity in China's Transformation (Brookings Institution Press, 2010), co-edited with Scott Rozelle and Xueguang Zhou, which examined the earlier phases of reform. Most recently, she co-edited with Thomas Fingar, Fateful Decisions: Choices That Will Shape China’s Future (Stanford University Press, 2020). The volume examines the difficult choices and tradeoffs that China leaders face after forty years of reform, when the economy has slowed and the population is aging, and with increasing demand for and costs of education, healthcare, elder care, and other social benefits.

Oi also works on the politics of corporate restructuring, with a focus on the incentives and institutional constraints of state actors. She has published three edited volumes related to this topic: one on China, Going Private in China: The Politics of Corporate Restructuring and System Reform (Shorenstein APARC, 2011); one on Korea, co-edited with Byung-Kook Kim and Eun Mee Kim, Adapt, Fragment, Transform: Corporate Restructuring and System Reform in Korea (Shorenstein APARC, 2012); and a third on Japan, Syncretism: The Politics of Economic Restructuring and System Reform in Japan, co-edited with Kenji E. Kushida and Kay Shimizu (Brookings Institution, 2013). Other more recent articles include “Creating Corporate Groups to Strengthen China’s State-Owned Enterprises,” with Zhang Xiaowen, in Kjeld Erik Brodsgard, ed., Globalization and Public Sector Reform in China (Routledge, 2014) and "Unpacking the Patterns of Corporate Restructuring during China's SOE Reform," co-authored with Xiaojun Li, Economic and Political Studies, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2018.

Oi continues her research on rural finance and local governance in China. She has done collaborative work with scholars in China, including conducting fieldwork on the organization of rural communities, the provision of public goods, and the fiscal pressures of rapid urbanization. This research is brought together in a co-edited volume, Challenges in the Process of China’s Urbanization (Brookings Institution Shorenstein APARC Series, 2017), with Karen Eggleston and Wang Yiming. Included in this volume is her “Institutional Challenges in Providing Affordable Housing in the People’s Republic of China,” with Niny Khor. 

As a member of the research team who began studying in the late 1980s one county in China, Oi with Steven Goldstein provides a window on China’s dramatic change over the decades in Zouping Revisited: Adaptive Governance in a Chinese County (Stanford University Press, 2018). This volume assesses the later phases of reform and asks how this rural county has been able to manage governance with seemingly unchanged political institutions when the economy and society have transformed beyond recognition. The findings reveal a process of adaptive governance and institutional agility in the way that institutions actually operate, even as their outward appearances remain seemingly unchanged.

Selected Multimedia

Director of the China Program
Lee Shau Kee Director of the Stanford Center at Peking University
Stanford Affiliate, Stanford Center on China's Economy and Institutions
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