Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center Stanford China Program Stanford University


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Jean C. Oi, PhD   Download vCard
Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; William Haas Professor in Chinese Politics, Department of Political Science; and Director, Stanford China Program; Lee Shau Kee Director, Stanford Center at Peking University;

Department of Political Science
Stanford University
616 Serra Street
Stanford, CA 94305-26044
(650) 723-2843 (voice)
(650) 725-9401 (fax)

Research Interests
Political economy and the process of reform in transitional systems, with particular focus on corporate restructuring and fiscal reform, including the tax-for-fee system in China's countryside

Jean C. Oi is the William Haas Professor in Chinese Politics in the department of political science and a senior fellow of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. Oi is the founding director of the Stanford China Program at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. She leads Stanford's China Initiative, and is the Lee Shau Kee Director of the Stanford Center at Peking University. Oi directed Stanford's Center for East Asian Studies from 1998 to 2005.

A PhD in political science from the University of Michigan, Oi first taught at Lehigh University and later in the department of government at Harvard University before joining the Stanford faculty in 1997.

Her work focuses on comparative politics, with special expertise on Chinese political economy. She has written extensively on China's rural politics and political economy. Her State and Peasant in Contemporary China (University of California Press, 1989) examined the core of rural politics in the pre-reform period—the struggle over the distribution of the grain harvest—and the clientelistic relationships that ensued. Her Rural China Takes Off (University of California Press, 1999)examined the property rights necessary for development and showed how "local state corporatism" facilitated rapid growth of rural industry.     

Currently, she is researching the politics of corporate restructuring, with a focus on the incentives and institutional constraints of state actors. She recently published an edited volume on China, Going Private in China: The Politics of Corporate Restructuring and System Reform (2011), and one on Korea, co-edited with Byung-Kook Kim and Eun Mee Kim, Adapt, Fragment, Transform: Corporate Restructuring and System Reform in Korea. She also continues her research on rural finance and local governance in China.  

Her other recent publications include"Patterns of Corporate Restructuring in China: Political Constraints on Privatization" in China Journal (January 2005); Growing Pains: Tensions and Opportunity in China's Transformation (Brookings Institution Press, 2010), co-edited with Scott Rozelle and Xueguang Zhou; "Fiscal Crisis in China's Townships," co-authored with Zhao Shukai, in Grassroots Political Reform in Contemporary China (Harvard University Press, 2007), Merle Goldman and Elizabeth Perry, eds.; and At the Crossroads of Empires: Middlemen, Social Networks, and State-building in Republican Shanghai (Stanford University Press, 2007), co-edited withNara Dillon.

Stanford Departments
Political Science


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Events & Presentations

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Research Programs & Projects

News around the web

Experts ponder China's future
Following Christensen's talk, Stanford professor of political science Jean Oi moderated the first panel. The discussion centered on topics including rising income inequality, popular dissatisfaction with the government and the rise of nationalist ...
May 5, 2011 in The Stanford Daily

Faculty hear more details about new Peking University Center
Academic freedom, new collaborations and a home for Asia-based research will be at the core of the Stanford Center at Peking University. Coit Blacker, director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and Jean Oi, a professor of ...
April 1, 2011 in Stanford University News

Faculty Senate addresses Peking Center, earthquakes and curriculum
FSI has been tasked with managing the Stanford Research Center in Beijing on behalf of the University. Political science professor Jean Oi, who is also a FSI senior fellow, said the new center would serve multiple functions.
April 1, 2011 in The Stanford Daily

Oi Talks on Rural Distress in China
... to hear Jean C. Oi, a professor of Chinese politics at Stanford University, speak about the effects of new land distribution policies in rural China.
November 16, 2010 in Harvard Crimson