A political scientist and writer, I research contentious politics, civil society, public opinion, and labor/gender politics with a focus on contemporary China.  



I am an assistant professor of political science at The University of Toronto and an affiliate of the Munk School of Global Affairs Asian Institute. My research examines the relationship between popular contention, state power, and civil society in contemporary China.  My book “Mobilizing Without the Masses: Control and Contention in China,” (2018, Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics Series and Columbia University’s Studies of the Weatherhead East Asia Institute) examines state control and civil society contention under authoritarian rule. Based on two years of ethnographic research that tracks the development of informal labor organizations, the book explores counterintuitive dynamics of organized contention in post-1989 China.

Articles that are part of this broader project have appeared in Governance (2017), Comparative Political Studies (2017), The China Journal (2018), among others.

I graduated with distinction from Oxford University (M.Phil. in Development Studies and D.Phil in Politics), where I studied as a Rhodes Scholar. Prior to joining the department, I was a Walter H. Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University.  I was also a Predoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. My research has been supported by the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation, the Chiang Ching Kuo Foundation, and the Rhodes Trust.

My writing and research have appeared in ReutersThe EconomistBoston Review, Nick Kristof’s On the Ground Blog (The New York Times), PostGlobal, and Global Brief.  


TEaching & Service

  • Social Movements & Contentious Politics 
  • Chinese Politics 
  • International Development
  • Contention in comparative perspective