am Fei Yan, and I am a postdoctoral fellow at The Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University. My research interests and previous work revolve around several important themes:
(1) Contentious politics and political movements, focusing on the dynamics of collective action;
(2) Chinese politics, political culture, and Hong Kong government and politics;
(3) Comparative social policy, focusing on the institutional change within transitional economies and authoritarian settings.
My current book project examines mass factionalism and collective violence during the Chinese Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1968. In conventional social structural model, mass actors’ decisions are affected by functionally differentiated interests inherent in their pre-existing social positions. As a result, similar occupational and status groups in the previous hierarchical structure would make similar political choices that lead them to form well-defined competing factions. However, at times of radical instability, political ambiguity and contingency are likely to upset static models of mobilization. Based on the analyses of popular rebellion and factional contention in communist China in 1966-1968 with the more abundant sources available today, I identify two key mechanisms—contextual ambiguity and adaptive choice—to mediate political alignment in moments of radical change. I argue that the choices of mass actors are highly circumscribed by their entrenched local political context. When confronting with a rapidly changing and ambiguous political situation, mass actors in structurally similar positions would make varied political choices with fluid interests and flowing identities.
A native of Nanjing, China, I have received academic training from Stanford University and University of Oxford. From 2005 to 2008, I had been working in the Department of Applied Social Studies at City University of Hong Kong as a Research Associate.
Meanwhile, I am also extensively engaged myself in public debates. At present, I have published more than 200 op-ed articles and opinion commentaries in a variety of eminent media outlets including Financial Times and Fortune.
Please check my Google Scholar Profile.
Please find links to my Curriculum Vitae (PDF).