Recently, I completed a Visiting Fellowship in the Department of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. I am 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 (Canada). I have also previously taught in the Department of Sociology at the State University of New York, Binghamton. I received my PhD in Land Economy (Development Studies) 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. Currently, I am exploring the politics of museum display and curating as it pertains to Chinese art objects. I am working collaboratively on two new research initiatives. First, involves the examining of the role of government-organised NGOs (GONGOs) in development. The second project examines the relationship between volunteerism and civic engagement in the China. 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.
I am a Council Member (2016-2019) 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 am the Secretary-Treasurer for the Sociology of Development Section (2018-2021).