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Vivienne Shue

Professor Emerita


Vivienne Shue, FBA is Professor Emeritus of Contemporary China Studies, Associate of the University of Oxford China Centre, and Emeritus Fellow of St. Anthony's College.  As a Marshall Scholar studying at St. Antony’s in the late ‘60s, she earned the B. Litt. in Politics, later completed the Ph.D. in Government at Harvard and, before returning as Director of Oxford’s Contemporary China Studies Programme in 2002, taught Chinese politics to undergraduates and graduates at Yale and Cornell for more than twenty-five years. Best known, perhaps, for one of her early works, THE REACH OF THE STATE (1988), other books include PEASANT CHINA IN TRANSITION: THE DYNAMICS OF DEVELOPMENT TOWARD SOCIALISM (1980), STATE POWER AND SOCIAL FORCES (co-edited with J. Migdal and A. Kohli, 1994), TETHERED DEER: GOVERNMENT AND ECONOMY IN A CHINESE COUNTY (co-authored with M.J. Blecher, 1996), and PAYING FOR PROGRESS IN CHINA: PUBLIC FINANCE, HUMAN WELFARE AND CHANGING PATTERNS OF INEQUALITY (co-edited with C. P. W. Wong, 2007).  Recent essays include “Modern/Rural China: State Institutions and Village Values” in A. Bislev and S. Thǿgersen eds., ORGANIZING RURAL CHINA: RURAL CHINA ORGANIZING (2012) and a retrospective reflection, “Mao’s China: Putting Politics in Perspective” in J. Brown and M. Johnson eds., MAOISM AT THE GRASSROOTS (Harvard,  edp 2015).  Current research and writing revolve around an evaluation of China’s 21st century ambitions for achieving ultra-high-speed urbanization of its population with a thorough upgrading of its national economy; of attendant party-state regimes of high-tech development planning; especially the spatial dimensions of these planning regimes, including national land use planning, satellite mapping, ecology-management, and the potential political consequences of such new techniques for governing.  With Dr Patricia Thornton at Merton College, Professor Shue is currently co-editing a collection of original essays on these and other contemporary Chinese governing routines, techniques, and practices.


  • Government


  • Government