Elizabeth Economy

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Elizabeth Economy
Elizabeth Economy at US Naval War College.jpg
Born (1962-12-27) December 27, 1962 (age 55)
EducationSwarthmore College (BA)
Stanford University (MA)
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (PhD)
Notable work
The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China's Future (2004)
By All Means Necessary: How China’s Resource Quest Is Changing the World (2014)
The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State (2018)

Elizabeth Economy is the C. V. Starr senior fellow and director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.[1] She is an acclaimed author and expert on Chinese domestic and foreign policy, writing on topics ranging from China's environmental challenges to its role in global governance.


Economy received her BA with honors from Swarthmore College, her AM from Stanford University, and her PhD from the University of Michigan. In 2008, she received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Vermont Law School. She lives in New York City with her husband and three children.[2][3]

Dr. Economy serves on the board of managers of Swarthmore College and the board of trustees of the Asia Foundation and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. She has also served on the advisory council of Network 20/20 and the science advisory council of the Stockholm Environment Forum. Previously, she was a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Agenda Council on the United States from 2014 to 2016 and served as a member and then vice chair of WEF’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of China from 2008 to 2014. Dr. Economy has also served on the board of the China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development. She has taught undergraduate and graduate-level courses at Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, and the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies.

Her most recent book, The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State, analyzes the contradictory nature of reform under President Xi Jinping. She is also the author of Means Necessary: How China’s Resource Quest is Changing the World with Michael Levi, and The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China’s Future, which was named one of the top 50 sustainability books in 2008 by the University of Cambridge, won the 2005 International Convention on Asia Scholars Award for the best social sciences book published on Asia, and was listed as one of the top ten books of 2004 by the Globalist as well as one of the best business books of 2010 by Booz Allen Hamilton’s strategy+business magazine.

She also coedited China Joins the World: Progress and Prospects with Michel Oksenberg, and The Internationalization of Environmental Protection with Miranda Schreurs.

She has published articles in foreign policy and scholarly journals including Foreign Affairs, Harvard Business Review, and Foreign Policy, and op-eds in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal, among others. Dr. Economy is a frequent guest on nationally broadcast television and radio programs, has testified before Congress on numerous occasions, and regularly consults for U.S. government agencies and companies. She writes about topics involving China on CFR’s Asia program blog, Asia Unbound, which is syndicated by Forbes.com.

In June 2018, Dr. Economy was named one of "The 10 Names That Matter on China Policy" by Politico Magazine.[4]


  • The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China’s Future Cornell University Press, 2004; 2nd edition, 2010. ISBN 9780801489785, OCLC 901680833
  • By all means necessary: How China’s Resource Quest is Changing the World Oxford University Press, 2014. ISBN 9780190229221, OCLC 915155930
  • The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State, Oxford University Press, 2018. ISBN 9780190866075, OCLC 1029073185[5][6]



  1. ^ "Elizabeth C. Economy". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  2. ^ Diplomat, The. "Elizabeth Economy". The Diplomat. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  3. ^ "WEDDINGS; Elizabeth Economy and David Wah". Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  4. ^ "The 10 Names That Matter on China Policy". POLITICO Magazine. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  5. ^ "Review: China experts enter their own "New Era"". NASDAQ.com. 2018-04-26. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  6. ^ "Surveillance: Xi Has Amassed So Much Power, CFR's Economy Says". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2018-05-27.

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