Wilson Center Experts

Joseph Fewsmith

Fellow
Asia Program

Expertise:
Asia
Affiliation:
Professor, Departments of International Relations and Political Science, Boston University
Wilson Center Project(s):
"Institutionalization and Reform of the Chinese Communist Party"
Term:
Sep 01, 2005
-
May 01, 2006

I am a Professor of International Relations and Political Science as well as Director of the East Asia Interdisciplinary Studies Program at Boston University. I am the author of four books: China Since Tiananmen: The Politics of Transition (Cambridge University Press, 2001), Elite Politics in Contemporary China (M.E. Sharpe, 2001), The Dilemmas of Reform in China: Political Conflict and Economic Debate (M.E. Sharpe, 1994), and Party, State, and Local Elites in Republican China: Merchant Organizations and Politics in Shanghai, 1980-1930 (University of Hawaii Press, 1985). My articles have appeared in such journals as Asian Survey, Comparative Studies in Society and History, The China Journal, The China Quarterly, Current History, The Journal of Contemporary China, and Modern China. I am also a research associate of the John King Fairbank Center for East Asian Studies at Harvard University.
 

Education

B.A., Political Science, Northwestern University; M.A. and Ph.D., Political Science, University of Chicago
 

Subjects

China
 

Experience

  • Professor, Boston University, 2000-present
  • Associate Professor, Boston University, 1991-2000
  • Analyst, Foreign Broadcast Information Service, 1983-91
  • Assistant Professor, Kent State University, 1982-83

Expertise

Contemporary Chinese politics

Project Summary

Institutionalization is critical in providing good governance and preparing for democratic transition. Although China has made significant strides in institutionalizing aspects of its governing structure, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), organized along Leninist lines, stands as a major impediment to institutionalization. In recent years, the CCP has vowed to remake itself as a "ruling party," to carry out "inner-party democracy," and to increase its "governing capacity." The CCP has begun testing these ideas in local areas. This project will combine field research and documentary study to evaluate the extent of party reform and the prospects for democratic transition in China.

Major Publications

  • China Since Tiananmen: The Politics of Transition (Cambridge University Press, 2001)
  • Elite Politics in Contemporary China (ME Sharpe, 2001)
  • Dilemmas of Reform in China (ME Sharpe, 1997)

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