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Yeling Tan

Yeling Tan profile picture
  • Affiliation: faculty
  • Title: Assistant Professor
  • Phone: 541-346-7098
  • Office: 912 PLC
  • Interests: Global economic governance; International political economy; Comparative political economy; Politics of China; Political economy of development
  • Website: Website


My research interests lie at the intersection of international and comparative political economy, with an emphasis on China and the developing world. Two broad questions define my research agenda. First: how do the rules of globalization affect politics within authoritarian regimes such as China, given that these rules require increasingly far-reaching modifications to domestic institutions? Second, how do authoritarian regimes affect rule-making at the international level?

My book manuscript, State Strategies under Global Rules: Chinese Industrial Policy in the WTO Era, examines the varying strategies that the Chinese state adopted in response to global trade rules. Although scholars have noted the unevenness of China's reforms after entry into the WTO, I ask: why did some parts of the state adopt more liberalizing reforms than others. I provide a framework explaining why the Chinese policy response to the WTO was neither top-down nor monolithic, despite single-party rule. In doing so I show that WTO rules, usually thought to constrain member states or credibly commit them to international norms, in fact provoked divergent responses within the state, in ways neither expected nor desired by the architects of those rules.

I have worked in the public and non-governmental sectors in a range of roles including: global governance and governance innovations research at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy; international development project management at The Asia Foundation; and international security policymaking in the Singapore Government.


Ph.D. in Public Policy, Harvard University (2017)

M.P.A. in International Development, Harvard Kennedy School (2011)

B.A. in International Relations and Economics (Honors and Distinction), Stanford University (2002) 


"Disaggregating "China, Inc.": The Hierarchical Politics of WTO Entry" Accepted at Comparative Political Studies

"Provincial Power in a Centralizing China: the Politics of Domestic and International "Development Space''" (with Kyle Jaros). The China Journal, January 2020

“Transparency without Democracy: The Unexpected Effects of China's Environmental Disclosure Policy”. Governance, January 2014

Asia’s Role in Governing Global Health (co-editor with Kelley Lee and Tikki Pang). Routledge, 2012

“Global Health Governance and the Rise of Asia” (Lead author with Kelley Lee and Tikki Pang). Global Policy, Vol 3, No. 3. September 2012

China Experiments: From Local Innovation to National Reform (Co-author with Ann Florini and Hairong Lai). Brookings Institution Press, 2012


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