Minxin Pei

  • Expert in China, Taiwan, East Asia and Democracy & Author of From Reform to Revolution: The Demise of Communism in China and the Soviet Union and China’s Trapped Transition: The Limits of Developmental Autocracy
  • Professor of Government, Claremont McKenna College

The rise of China as a great power is one of the most important developments in the twenty-first century. But despite dramatic economic progress, China’s prospects remain uncertain. Minxin Pei examines the sustainability of the Chinese Communist Party’s reform strategy—pursuing pro-market economic policies under one-party rule. Combining powerful insights with empirical research, Minxin Pei offers a provocative assessment of China’s future as a great power.

 
  

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National and Global Effects of U.S. – China Relations

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From Reform to Revolution: The Demise of Communism in China and the Soviet Union

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Biography

Minxin Pei is the Tom and Margot Pritzker ’72 Professor of Government and director of the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies at Claremont McKenna College. He is also a non-resident senior fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.  An expert on China, Taiwan, East Asia, and democracy, he has written many articles on economic growth and political reform in China, and he also taught politics at Princeton University. His main research interests are U.S.-China relations, the development of democratic political systems, and Chinese politics.

He was born in Shanghai in 1957. After graduating from high school in 1974, he got a blue-collar job in a state-owned factory in Shanghai. In 1978, he enrolled in the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Languages after taking the first college entrance exam after the Cultural Revolution and majored in English. He became an instructor at the same college after obtaining his B.A. in 1981.

He went to the University of Pittsburgh in 1984 to study creative writing and obtained his Master of Fine Arts in 1986. He began his Ph.D. program in the Government Department at Harvard University in 1986 and received his Ph.D. in 1991. His dissertation was a comparison of reform in China and the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

He was a visiting assistant professor at Davison College from 1991 to 1992. From 1992 to 1998 he was an assistant professor of politics at Princeton University. He became a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 1999. From 2004 to 2008, he was the director of its China Program. He joined the faculty of Claremont McKenna College in July 2009.

He is the author of From Reform to Revolution: The Demise of Communism in China and the Soviet Union and China’s Trapped Transition: The Limits of Developmental Autocracy. His research has been published in Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, Modern China, China Quarterly, Journal of Democracy and many edited books and his op-eds have appeared in the Financial Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek International, and International Herald Tribune, and other major newspapers.

He is the recipient of the World Bank’s McNamara Fellowship, the National Fellowship at Hoover Institution, and the Olin Faculty Fellowship.