The Woodrow Wilson International Center, in conjunction with the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, has awarded Wilson China Fellowships to Hamilton Lugar School professors Wendy Leutert and Adam Liff. The competitive fellowship program, which supports the next generation of American research on China, will help them study the rise of China and communicate its implications for the US-China relationship, one of the critical areas of international scholarship and foreign policy today.
The Hamilton Lugar School is the only international affairs school boasting two fellowship recipients, and Indiana University is one of only two universities with such a distinction. The inaugural 2020-2021 class is based in eight states and four countries around the world.
Wendy Leutert, whom we profiled in fall 2019, is the GLP-Ming Z. Mei Chair of Chinese Economics and Trade in the Hamilton Lugar School’s Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. Her project, focused on China’s economic might, will concern the international origins of China’s state-owned enterprises, their so-called national champions.
According to Leutert, her primary research question is “How did Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) transform from state-run factories into today’s partially privatized multinational corporations?”
Situating China’s successful state-owned enterprises in a global context, she adds, “I study how transnational movements of people and ideas impacted China’s domestic policy-making about state-owned enterprise restructuring.”
And, while most research in this area has pointed to China’s commitment to a state-led economic model, Leutert says, “My fellowship project will provide evidence that Chinese SOE policies have consistently engaged actors and ideas from abroad, thereby illustrating how transnational engagement may yield points of congruence but ultimately not convergence.”
Adam Liff, who is assistant professor of East Asian International Relations and director of the 21st Century Japan Politics and Society Initiative, will build on his expertise in security issues as he uses the fellowship to study China’s growing pressure on Taiwan and the US-Japan response.
“This fellowship provides a unique and valuable opportunity to engage with and receive critical feedback on my scholarship from both fellow China scholars and experienced policymakers,” Liff says.
“The breadth and diversity of research topics the other fellows are pursuing is really extraordinary, and I am particularly looking forward to learning more about their exciting research over the course of the year,” he adds.
“The Wilson Center is committed to bringing cutting-edge academic analysis to key foreign policy issues, and no issue is more important than understanding the geopolitical implications of China’s rise,” comments Abraham Denmark, Director of the Wilson Center’s Asia Program.
The fellowship encourages recipients to apply their academic research to pressing foreign policy matters, a specialty of the Hamilton Lugar School.