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US-China Forum 2021: Addressing Inequality and Promoting Social Welfare

Xueguang Zhou

Photo of Professor Xueguang Zhou

Xueguang Zhou

Kwoh-Ting Li Professor in Economic Development

Professor of Sociology

Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Stanford University

Xueguang Zhou’s main area of research is institutional changes in contemporary Chinese society, focusing on Chinese organizations and management, social inequality, and state-society relationships.

One of Zhou's current research projects is a study of career mobility and intraorganizational relationships in the Chinese bureaucracy. He works with students and colleagues to collect data on personnel flow across different levels and administrative jurisdictions in an entire province, from 1990 to 2019.

In another ongoing project, he examines the historical origins of the bureaucratic state. Drawing on historical research and sociological theorizing, Zhou examines different aspects of the historical evolution of the bureaucratic state, in light of personnel management, paths of state building, and the role of patrimonial authority. 

His forthcoming book The Logic of Governance in China: An Organizational Approach (Cambridge University Press, 2022) summarized his decade-long fieldwork and research on various aspects of governance practice in contemporary China. Zhou’s recent publications include works in Management and Organization Review, The China Journal, and book chapters on social media in China and the role of local bureaucrats and economic development. 

Before joining Stanford in 2006, Zhou taught at Cornell University, Duke University, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is a guest professor at Peking University, Tsinghua University, and The People's University of China. He received his PhD in sociology from Stanford University in 1991.