Yeling Tan is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Oregon and a non-resident scholar at the UC San Diego 21st Century China Center. Her research interests lie at the intersection of international and comparative political economy, with an emphasis on China and the developing world. Her ongoing research examines how the rules of globalization, and global economic tensions, affect politics within authoritarian regimes such as China.

Her book, Disaggregating China, Inc: State Strategies in the Liberal Economic Order, is forthcoming in the fall of 2021 (Cornell University Press). It examines why some parts of the Chinese state adopted more liberalizing responses than others in response to entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, and why the momentum for reform stalled and even reversed. The study breaks open the black box of the Chinese state and unpacks the policies that various government actors – central economic agencies as well as subnational authorities – adopted in response to WTO rules demanding far-reaching modifications to China’s domestic institutions. The analysis shows that rather than constraining or “disciplining” the state, WTO entry provoked a divergence of policy responses within the state that drew from three competing state strategies: market-substituting (directive), market-shaping (developmental) and market-enhancing (regulatory).

Dr. Tan’s other scholarly work has been published in Comparative Political Studies, Governance, the China Journal and Global Policy. She is co-author of China Experiments: From Local Innovation to National Reform (Brookings Institution Press, 2012) and co-editor of Asia’s Role in Governing Global Health (Routledge, 2013). She has also written for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog.

Dr. Tan was previously a fellow of the World Economic Forum's Council on the Future of International Trade and Investment, as well as a member of the Georgetown University Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues. Prior to joining the University of Oregon, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the Princeton-Harvard China and the World program in Princeton University. Dr. Tan holds a Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University, an M.P.A. in international development from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a B.A. (honors, distinction) in international relations and economics from Stanford University. Apart from research on globalization and China, she has also worked in the public and non-governmental sectors on a range of issues including economic development, international security policy, global governance, and governance innovations.