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Professor Vivienne Shue FBA

Chinese politics and society in the 20th and 21st centuries; political economy of development, institutions and practices of the state, local governance, and patterns of state-society interaction
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About this Fellow

Vivienne Shue is Professor Emeritus of Contemporary China Studies, Fellow of St. Antony's College, and an Associate of the University of Oxford China Centre. As a Marshall Scholar at St. Antony's in the late '60s, she earned the B. Litt. in Politics, later completed the Ph.D. in Government at Harvard and, before returning to Oxford as Director of its Leverhulme Trust supported Contemporary China Studies Programme in 2002, taught courses on Chinese politics and society to undergraduates and graduates at Yale and Cornell for more than twenty-five years. Whilst in the US, she spent one year as a member of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, and received research awards from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Academy of Sciences, National Endowment for the Humanities, and many others. She was among the earliest American social scientists invited to conduct field-based research on local-level governance in China in 1979, returning to that country often to observe structural transformations in rural and urbanizing local state systems under reform. Her current research examines certain distinctively 21st century Chinese governance techniques and practices, including high-tech national development planning, especially the spatial and land-use dimensions of nationwide planning for ecology-management using satellite mapping.



Current post

  • Emeritus Professor of Contemporary China Studies, University of Oxford; Fellow, St Antony's College, Oxford

Past Appointments

  • Chair, Department of Government, Cornell University, 1987 - 1993
  • Director, East Asia Program, Cornell University, 1999 - 2002
  • Frank and Rosa Rhodes Professor of Chinese Government, Cornell University, 1995 - 2004
  • Leverhulme Professor of Contemporary China Studies and Fellow of St. Antony's College, Oxford, St Antony's College University of Oxford, 2002
  • Dept of Political Science, Yale University, 1976 - 1982
  • Emeritus Professor of Contemporary China Studies and Fellow, St Antony's College University of Oxford, 2012


“Legitimacy Crisis in China?” Routledge Chinese Politics: State, Society and the Market, Gries and Rosen eds. 2010 Routledge

“Mao’s China: Putting Politics in Perspective” Maoism at the Grassroots (Brown and Johnson) 2015 Harvard University Press

Peasant China in Transition 1980 University of California Press

The Reach of the State: Sketches of the Chinese Body Politic 1988 Stanford University Press

State Power and Social Forces: Domination and Transformation in the Third World (with Migdal and Kohli) 1994

Tethered Deer: Government and Economy in a Chinese County (with Blecher) 1996 Stanford University Press

Other Political Studies: Political Theory, Government and International Relations Fellows