Welcome! I am an assistant professor of political studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, California.
I study comparative authoritarian politics and the political economy of development with a focus on China. Specifically, I am interested in authoritarian institutions and their role in mediating the relationship between the ruling elites and ordinary citizens. For my dissertation, I examine how merit-based elite recruitment under authoritarianism serves as an institution of upward mobility to co-opt ordinary citizens and hence help stabilize the regime.
I received my Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University in 2018, and a B.A. in political science and economics from Smith College in 2011. Prior to coming to Pitzer, I was a postdoctoral fellow with the Center for the Study of Contemporary China, University of Pennsylvania, for the academic year 2018-2019.
You can reach me at hanzhang_liu[at]pitzer.edu.