MIP network member Dali Yang recently sat down with HCEO to discuss his research on the politics of China's development.
"The political aspect is certainly very important because nothing is unpolitical in some ways," Yang says. "But at the same time, I’ve been doing a lot of work related to issues of the restructuring of the Chinese state and the relations between the state and economy and also society."
More recently, Yang has been working with colleagues using longitudinal studies of the Chinese population to understand child and youth wellbeing. "This has been an extremely important area," he says. "One of the reasons is very simple. If we want to study any society, we want to know about the future generation. And the children and the youth are the future of any country - how they are being treated, how they are developing, how they are functioning are important. And certainly not only understanding the present, but really looking at the labor force of the future."
Another major area of Yang's research is looking at the making or the remaking of the Chinese state, in particular the development of regulatory institutions.
"Very often China is learning from experiences in the United States," Yang says. "As an American citizen, I am extremely interested in participating in what’s happening here, But at the same time, it allows me to draw on the American experience in particular in trying to understand what's happening in China. At the same time, it’s truly fundamental for us to understand what’s going on because what happens in China has an impact globally, as well as in the United States as you know, in this moment."
Yang is the William Claude Reavis Professor in the Department of Political Science and the College and Senior Advisor to the President and the Provost on Global Initiatives at the University of Chicago.