People | Duke Kunshan University

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The center brings together students and scholars at Duke Kunshan University, Wuhan University, and other institutions across China and around the world to pursue a common scholarly interest in contemporary Chinese affairs. Many of the center’s activities are open to the broader community.

Two social scientists with primary expertise on contemporary China—Keping Wu at Duke Kunshan University and Melanie Manion at Duke University—together direct the center and coordinate its activities.

Keping Wu

Associate Professor of Anthropology at Duke Kunshan University

Keping Wu is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Duke Kunshan University.

She has published on issues of religion, gender, ethnicity, urbanization and state-society relations in contemporary China. Her recent publications include It Happens Among People: Resonances and Extensions of the Work of Fredrik Barth (Berghahn, 2020, co-edited with Robert P. Weller) and Religion and Charity: The Social Life of Goodness in Chinese Societies (Cambridge University Press, 2017, co-authored with Robert P. Weller, C. Julia Huang Lemmon and Lizhu Fan).

Melanie Manion

Vor Broker Family Professor of Political Science, Duke University

Melanie Manion is Vor Broker Family Professor of Political Science at Duke University.

She studied philosophy and political economy at Peking University in the late 1970s, was trained in Far Eastern studies at McGill University and the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and earned her PhD in political science at the University of Michigan (1989). Her research on contemporary China focuses on issues of governance, bureaucracy, transparency, and information. She is the recipient of numerous research awards, including awards from the National Science Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and American Council of Learned Societies. Her most recent book, Information for Autocrats (Cambridge University Press, 2015), examines representation in Chinese local congresses. Previous publications include Retirement of Revolutionaries in China (Princeton University Press, 1993), Corruption by Design (Harvard University Press, 2004), and Contemporary Chinese Politics: New Sources, Methods, and Field Strategies (Cambridge University Press, 2010, edited with Allen Carlson, Mary Gallagher, and Kenneth Lieberthal). Her articles have appeared in journals including American Political Science Review, Comparative Political Studies, and China Quarterly.