David J. Bulman is the Jill McGovern and Steven Muller Assistant Professor of China Studies and International Affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where he is also U.S. director of the Pacific Community Initiative. He is a 2021-2022 Woodrow Wilson Center China fellow.

Dr. Bulman’s research looks at economic and political development in China and the implications for U.S.-China relations. His first book, Incentivized Development in China: Leaders, Governance, and Growth in China’s Counties, published by Cambridge University Press in 2016, examined the political foundations of local economic growth in China, focusing on the institutional and economic roles of county-level leaders and the career incentives that shape their behavior. Current research projects analyze central-local relations and local economic policy implementation in the Xi Jinping era as well as the global implications of China’s efforts to create a state capitalist welfare state. His research has been published in a wide range of area studies, economics, and political science journals.

Previously, Dr. Bulman was an economist at the World Bank and a China Public Policy postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in China studies from Johns Hopkins SAIS and his B.A. in economics from Columbia University.