Yuen Yuen Ang

Research Faculty


Faculty Associate, Center for Political Studies
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science
Faculty Associate, Center for Chinese Studies


Ph.D. 2010 Stanford University (Political Science)


Yuen Yuen Ang's Personal Website & CV

Department of Political Science, University of Michigan
7719 Haven Hall, 505 South State Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1045

Phone: 734–936–0089
Email: yuenang@umich.edu

University of Michigan Online Directory listing

Yuen Yuen Ang’s research integrates global development, China’s political economy, and adaptive processes of change. She specializes in China but is broadly interested in developing countries and emerging markets.

Ang’s research examines the non-linear, adaptive processes of development. In particular, she studies how markets emerge in the absence of good governance and state capacity, and the institutions that enable adaptive problem-solving, even within autocracies and poor countries. She uses China as her major case, draws on the paradigm of complex adaptive systems, and integrates multiple research methods, including in-depth fieldwork and machine learning. She is the author of How China Escaped the Poverty Trap which won the 2017 Peter Katzenstein Book Prize and was named by Foreign Affairs as “Best Books of 2017.”

More information on her research, as well as CV, is found on her personal website.

Selected publications.

2016. How China Escaped the Poverty Trap. Cornell University Press. Cornell Studies in Political Economy.

2016. "Beyond Weber: Conceptualizing an Alternative Ideal Type of Bureaucracy in Developing Contexts," Regulation & Governance.

2016. “Co-optation & Clientelism: Nested Distributive Politics in China’s Single-Party Dictatorship,” Studies in Comparative International Development, online first, pp. 1-22.

2014. Authoritarian Restraints on Online Activism Revisited: Why ‘I-Paid-A-Bribe’ Worked in India but Failed in China, Comparative Politics, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp. 21-40

2014. Perverse Complementarity: Political Connections and Use of Courts Among Chinese Firms (With Nan JIA), The Journal of Politics, Volume 76, Issue 2, pp. 318-332.


Yuen Yuen Ang’s How China Escaped the Poverty Trap receives the 2017 Peter Katzenstein Book Prize for “outstanding book in international relations, comparative politics, or political economy.” The prize committee describes the book as “a field-shifting move to non-linear complex processes.”

Yuen Yuen Ang’s How China Escaped the Poverty Trap is named by Foreign Affairs as “Best Books of 2017,” described as having “the potential to influence future studies of institutional and economic change beyond China.”