William C. Kirby

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William C. Kirby is T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies and Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration at Harvard University, where is he concurrently the Director of Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and Chairman of the Harvard China Fund. He is the former Dean of the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. After a four-year tenure he announced on January 27, 2006 that he would resign as Dean.

A historian of modern China, his work examines China's economic and political development in an international context. He has written on China's relations with Europe; the history of modern Chinese capitalism; the history of freedom in China; the international socialist economy of the 1950s; and relations across the Taiwan Strait. Kirby received his A.B. from Dartmouth College and his A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. His current projects include: the foreign relations of post-1949 China; Chinese business organization, past and present; and a global history of the 20th century.


  • A World Transformed: A Global History of the Twentieth Century (forthcoming)
  • China and the World: Internationalization, Internalization, Externalization (Zhongguo yu shije: guojihua, neihua yu waihua) co-editor (2007)
  • Global Conjectures: China in Transnational Perspective, co-editor (2006)
  • Normalization of U.S.-China Relations: An International History, co-editor (2006)
  • Realms of Freedom in the Modern Chinese World, editor (2004)
  • State and Economy in Republican China: A Handbook for Scholars, author (2001)
  • Germany and Republican China, author (1984)

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