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Dr. Kun-Chin Lin

Dr. Kun-Chin Lin

Dr. Kun-Chin Lin is the Deputy Director of the Forum on Geopolitics. He is a university lecturer in politics and Director of the Centre for Rising Powers at the University of Cambridge. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, and obtained his PhD in political science from the University of California at Berkeley. Kun-Chin was a Leverhulme postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford and taught at King's College London and the National University of Singapore.

His research focuses on the politics of market reform in developing countries. His current projects include federalism and regulatory issues in transport infrastructure and electricity grid expansion in China, industrial policy and privatization of Chinese state-owned enterprises, and the economic and security nexus in maritime governance in Asia and the Arctic. He is a member of Energy@Cambridge, Cambridge Centre for the Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance, Centre for Science & Policy of the University of Cambridge, and a collaborating partner of the Global Biopolitics Research Group based at King’s College London.

Kun-Chin is an editorial board member of Business & Politics, and an advisory board member of Routledge Research on the Politics and Sociology of China Series and Palgrave MacMillan Studies in the Political Economy of Public Policy Series. He is an Associate Fellow of the Asia Programme of the Chatham House.

Office Phone: 01223 767 262

Key Publications

  • “China and the Intergovernmental Organizations” in The Critical Transition: China’s Priorities for 2021, a Chatham House Research Paper, February 2017:
  •  “Governance, Domestic Change, and Social Policy in China in Historical Perspective” [with J-M Blanchard] in J-M Blanchard and KC Lin, ed., Governance, Domestic Change and Social Policy in China: 100 Years after the Xinhai Revolution, pp. 1-20. Palgrave, 2016.
  • “Maritime Security in the Asia-Pacific: China and the Emerging Order in the East and South China Seas.” A Chatham House Research Report, July 2015. Available at:
  • “Protecting the Petroleum Industry: Renewing government aid to fossil fuel producers.” Business & Politics 16(4): 549–578, Dec. 2014.
  •  “Multiple Institutional Templates for Corporate China: The Evolution of Industrial Networks During Marketization” [with Lowell Dittmer] in Hong Yung Lee, ed., A Comparative Study of East Asian Capitalism, pp. 205-236. University of California Press, 2014. 
  • “Policy Diffusion in Corporate Restructuring: Case Studies of Local Government Interventions” (with Shaofeng Chen) in J.C. Teets and W.J. Hurst, ed., Local Governance Innovation in China: Experimentation, Diffusion, and Defiance, pp. 84-102. Routledge, 2014.
  • “Local Government Fiscal Imperative and Debt-Financing in China” [with He Yang and Tao Ran] in P. Arestis and M. Sawyer, ed., Fiscal and Debt Policies for the Future, International Papers in Political Economy Series, pp. 195-236. Palgrave MacMillan, 2014.
  • “The Local Government in Corporate Restructuring: Case Studies of Fractured Bargaining Relations.” [with Shaofeng Chen] Journal of Current Chinese Affairs42(4): 171–198, 2013.
  • “Contemplating Chinese Foreign Policy: Approaches to the Use of Historical Analysis.” [with Jean-Marc Blanchard] Special Issue: Chinese Foreign Policy: The Quest for Power, Security, and Status.  Pacific Focus 28(2): 145–169, August 2013.
  • “Adapting to the Arab Spring: Chinese Economic Statecraft and the Quest for Stability in the Contemporary Middle East.” [With Rory Miller] ‘Lessons Learnt’ Report for the ‘History of British Intelligence and Security’ research project,” AHRC Public Policy Series No. 7, December 2012. Available at:
  • Transforming China’s Electricity Sector: Institutional Change and Regulation in the Reform Era.” [With Mika Purra] R&R at World Development. Available as Centre for Rising Powers Working Paper Series No. 8, University of Cambridge, July 2012. Available at:
  • “Social Change & Inequality.” [With Tao Ran] Chapter 15 in the Routledge Handbook of China's Governance and Domestic Politics, edited by Christopher Ogden. London: Routledge, 2012.
  • “Politics and the Market in Twenty-First-Century China: Strategies of Authoritarian Management of State-Society Relations.” Political Studies Review, Vol. 10 Iss. 1, Jan 2012, pp. 73-84.
  • “Governing Chinese National Oil Corporations: From Administrative to Corporate Hierarchy.” In Linda Yueh, ed., Enterprising China: Business, Economics and Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • “Regulating Power without a Five Year Plan: Institutional Changes in the Chinese Power Sector” [with Mika Purra and Hui Lin] in Darryl Jarvis, et al, ed., Infrastructure Regulation: What Works, Why, and How Do We Know it? Lessons from Asia and Beyond. London: Routledge, 2011.
  • “The Political Economy of Rapid Transport Infrastructure Expansion in China.” Centre for Rising Powers Working Paper Series No. 3, University of Cambridge, January 2012. Available at:
  • “Transforming the Wage Regime in Chinese Oilfields and Refineries: A Network Organizational Analysis.” In S. Kuruvilla, M. Gallagher, and C.K. Lee. ed., From Iron-Rice Bowl to Informalization: Markets, State and Workers in a Changing China. Cornell UniversityPress, 2011.
  • “The Development of Road Networks in China: Miscalculations and Inequalities.” Asie Visions 24. Paris: Centre Asie, Institut Francais des Relations Internationals (IFRI), February 2010. Reprinted with permission in Revue Internationale de Politique Comparée, September 2011.
  • Class Formation or Fragmentation? Allegiances and Divisions among Managers and Workers in State-owned Enterprises” in T. Gold, W. Hurst, J. Won, and L. Qiang, ed.,Laid-Off Workers in a Workers' State: Unemployment With Chinese Characteristics. Palgrave MacMillan, 2009.
  • “Rhetoric or Vision? Chinese Responses to U.S. Unilateralism” in V.K. Aggarwal, M.G. Koo, S. Lee, C.I. Moon, ed., Northeast Asia: Ripe for Integration? Berlin: SpringerVerlag, 2008.
  • “Macroeconomic Disequilibria and Enterprise Reform: Restructuring the Chinese Oil and Petrochemical Industries in the 1990s.” The China Journal, No. 60, July 2008, pp. 49-79.
  • “Local Governmental Effect on Oil and Petrochemical Enterprise Reform in China.” Oil, Gas & Energy Law Intelligence (OGEL), Volume 6, Issue 1, March 2008. Available online at the Global Energy Law Portal
  • “With Strings Attached? Improving the Administration of Central State-Financed Investment Projects in the PRC.” Asian Journal of Political Science 15(3), December 2007, pp. 319-343.
  • “Symmetry and Asymmetry in Post Cold War Approaches to Trade and Security in thePacific Rim.” [with Paul G. Buchanan] The Association of Asia-Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) Special Papers series. Winner of the 2006 APRU Fellows Program (AFP) Collaborative Research Paper Award. Published online on the APRU website:
  • “Disembedding Socialist Firms as a Statist Project: Restructuring the Chinese Oil Industry 1997-2002.” Enterprise & Society: The International Journal of Business History 7(1), March 2006, pp. 59-97.
  • “Finding the Right Chemistry? The U.S. Chemical Industry in Asia.” Business and Politics, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2001, pp. 185-202. Also in Vinod Aggarwal ed., Winning in Asia: US Style. NY: Palgrave MacMillan, 2003.
  • “Strategy without Vision: The U.S. and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation” [with Vinod K. Aggarwal] in Jurgen Roland, Eva Manske, and Werner Draguhn, ed., Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC): The First Decade. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2002.
  • “APEC as an Institution” [with Vinod K. Aggarwal] in Richard E. Feinberg and Ye Zhao, ed., Assessing APEC's Progress: Trade, Ecotech, and Institutions. Singapore: ISEAS, 2001.