At present, I am a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. I am also a Non-Resident Senior Fellow of the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham. I was an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada). I have also previously taught in the Department of Sociology at the State University of New York, Binghamton. I received my PhD in Development Studies and Land Economy at the University of Cambridge.
My research interests include state-society and state-NGO relations, the growth of civil society in China, and the internationalisation of Chinese NGOs. I am currently conducting research on the role of Chinese development assistance in Southeast Asia. In addition, I am working collaboratively on a new research initiative examining the role of government-organised NGOs (GONGOs) in development. Recent research funding from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, allowed an exploration of the “going out” strategy of Chinese NGOs. I have also completed a Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada funded project on Chinese NGOs becoming epistemic communities (see publications page for research outputs).
I have published in various journals including Journal of Contemporary China, Progress in Development Studies, The China Quarterly, Third World Quarterly and Urban Studies. My monograph State of Exchange: Migrant NGOs and the Chinese Government presents a systematic examination of the different layers of the Chinese state and their engagement with migrant NGOs. Other recent publications include a co-authored book with Dylan Sutherland HIV/AIDS in China – The Economic and Social Determinants and also a co-edited volume with Reza Hasmath: NGO Governance and Management in China.
Currently, I am a Council Member of the American Sociological Association’s Political Sociology Section. From 2013-2016, I served as a Council Member of the American Sociological Association’s Sociology of Development Section, participating in the section’s various committees and organiser of the Roundtables. I will be the incoming Secretary-Treasurer for the Sociology of Development Section in 2018.