Sara A. Newland is an assistant professor of government at Smith College and a specialist on local governance in mainland China and Taiwan. She holds degrees in political science from Wellesley College (B.A.) and the University of California, Berkeley (M.A., Ph.D.). She has previously worked as the Wellesley-Yenching Fellow at Chung Chi College (Chinese University of Hong Kong), as an assistant professor of political science at Villanova University, and as a China Public Policy postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.
Dr. Newland’s research focuses on local governance in mainland China and Taiwan. Her research on public goods and services in rural China and on partnerships between rural officials and non-state organizations was published in the China Quarterly (2016 and 2018). Many of her recent projects focus on local governance in Taiwan. An article with John Chung-En Liu (Early View in Governance) assesses whether local officials in Taiwan are more responsive to ethnically Han citizens than to indigenous citizens. Her ongoing work looks at how social media and “e-governance” tools affect local governance in Taiwan, as well as how the direct election or bureaucratic appointment of local officials affects their responsiveness to citizens. Dr. Newland’s interest in local governance has shaped a new set of projects on the role of subnational governments in international relations, with a focus on ties between U.S. cities and states and their counterparts in mainland China and Taiwan. Dr. Newland is also interested in active learning strategies for the political science classroom and has published on that topic in the Journal of Political Science Education. With Vinod K. Aggarwal, she is coeditor of Responding to China’s Rise: EU and US Strategies (Springer, 2014).
At Smith, Dr. Newland teaches courses on comparative politics, the politics of mainland China and Taiwan, and research design. She is a member of the U.S.-Taiwan Next Generation Working Group.