Zheng Yongnian

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Zheng Yongnian
Zheng Yongnian.jpg
Native name 郑永年
Known for Commentary on the Politics of the People's Republic of China
Zheng Yongnian
Traditional Chinese 鄭永年
Simplified Chinese 郑永年

Zheng Yongnian (Chinese: 郑永年; pinyin: Zhèng Yǒngnián) is a political scientist and political commentator on China who has studied and written on many aspects of contemporary China and especially on Chinese politics. Since 2008, he is Professor and Director of East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore.

Education and career[edit]

Zheng Yongnian was born in Yuyao County, Zhejiang Province, People's Republic of China in 1962. After completing his secondary education in Yuyao, Zhejiang, he moved to Peking University for his undergraduate and master's studies in political science. After his graduation from Peking University in 1988, he worked for two years as assistant professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Peking University. Later, he studied at Princeton University, New Jersey, United States between 1990 and 1995 and obtained PhD in political science in 1995.

After a two-year stint at Harvard as SSRC-MacArthur Fellow in International Peace and Security, he moved to the newly founded East Asian Institute in Singapore to work as a Research Fellow (1997-2002) and later a Senior Research Fellow (2002-2005). In 2005, he was appointed full Professor and founding Research Director of the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. In July 2008, he succeeded Prof. Dali Yang and has since served as Director of the East Asian Institute,[1] a Singapore think tank under a statute of the National University of Singapore. Zheng also serves as advisor to independent think tank Longus Research Institute, giving talks and contributing essays to their Longus Review.

Zheng is a co-editor of China: An International Journal, East Asian Policy and Series on Contemporary China published by World Scientific in Singapore and editor of the China Policy Series published by Routledge.

Academic work[edit]

Zheng's academic works are mainly on politics of the People's Republic of China.[2] His earlier works in the United States, including the PhD thesis in Princeton and post-doctoral research at Harvard, dealt with China's central-local relations[3] and state-society interactions in Chinese nationalism.[4] Since late 90s, his research topics have included the impact of globalization[5] and information technology [6] on Chinese politics and government.

In his most recent work, The Chinese Communist Party as Organizational Emperor, Zheng argues that the Chinese Communist Party is not a political party in the usual sense of the word but rather an organizational form of traditional institution of the Emperor, similar to an organizational form of the Machiavellian prince à la Gramsci.[7] According to an interview with Chinese journal Nanfengchuang, his current works in progress include a study on the structure of China's political economy and the nature of the modern Chinese polity as non-nation state.[8]

Political commentary[edit]

Since the 2000s, Zheng has been a columnist, writing weekly commentaries on China for Hong Kong Economic Journal (Chinese: 信报))(until 2004) and the Lianhe Zaobao (Chinese: 联合早报))(since 2002). His weekly commentaries featured a broad range of critical issues in contemporary China's political, economic, social and cultural development. In these commentaries he consistently argues for gradual reforms in China's social, economic and political lives.[9] In the recent China Model debate, he takes the stand that while China definitely has a model of its own consistent and continuous with its historical patterns of development, the model needs constant reforms to avoid systemic crisis.[10][11] As an internationally recognized authority on Chinese politics, he was frequently consulted and quoted by the New York Times on recent developments in China's domestic politics in 2012, an eventful year of the Chinese Communist Party's power transition.[12][13][14][15] Besides being an columnist, he also appeared on TV programs. In the 2006 CCTV documentary The Rise of Great Nations, he was quoted to have expressed the view that the strength of a Great Power lies within its domestic institutions, its external powers merely reflecting an extension of its domestic institutions.[16]

English-language publications[edit]

  • Singapore-China Relations: 50 Years. (ed. with Liang Fook Lye) (World Scientific Series on Singapore's 50 Years of Nation-Building) NJ: World Scientific, 2016
  • Contemporary China: A History Since 1978 (Blackwell History of the Contemporary World) . Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013
  • Hong Kong Under Chinese Rule: Economic Integration and Political Gridlock. (ed. with Chiew Ping Yew) NJ: World Scientific, 2013
  • China: Development and Governance. (ed. with Gungwu Wang) NJ: World Scientific, 2012
  • East Asia: Developments and Challenges. (ed. with Liang Fook Lye) (Series on Contemporary China) NJ: World Scientific, 2012
  • Goh Keng Swee on China: Selected Essays. (ed. with John Wong) NJ: World Scientific, 2012
  • Wang Gungwu: Educator and Scholar. (ed. with Kok Khoo Phua) NJ: World Scientific, 2012
  • China and the Global Economic Crisis. (ed. with Sarah Y Tong) (Series on Contemporary China) NJ: World Scientific, 2010
  • The Chinese Communist Party as Organizational Emperor: Culture, Reproduction and Transformation. London and New York: Routledge, 2010
  • China and International Relations: The Chinese View and the Contribution of Wang Gungwu. (edited). London: Routledge, 2010
  • China's Opening Society: The Non-State Sector and Governance. (ed. with Joseph Fewsmith) London: Routledge, 2009.
  • China's Information and Communications Technology Revolution: Social Changes and State Responses London: Routledge, 2009
  • Politics of Modern China (in 4 volumes) (ed. with Lu Yiyi and Lynn White), London and New York: Routledge, 2009
  • China in the New International Order (ed. with Wang Gungwu),London: Routledge, 2008
  • Technological Empowerment: The Internet, the State and Society in China. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2008
  • De Facto Federalism in China: Reforms and Dynamics of Central-Local Relations (Series on Contemporary China). NJ: World Scientific, 2007
  • The Communist Party in Reform (ed. with Kjeld Erik Brodsgaad), New York and London: Routledge, 2006
  • Globalization and State Transformation in China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004 (cloth and paper editions). (This book is also in Chinese language.)
  • Will China Become Democratic? Elite, Class, and Regime Transition. Singapore, London and New York: Eastern Universities Press, 2004
  • Discovering Chinese Nationalism in China: Modernization, Identity, and International Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999 (cloth and paper editions) (This book is now also in Korean language.)


  1. ^ http://newshub.nus.edu.sg/news/0807/PDF/ZHENG-lhzb-10Jul-p12.pdf
  2. ^ Robert, Ash al ed (2007). China Watching: Perspectives from Europe, Japan And the United States. London: Routledge. p. 120. ISBN 9780415413961. 
  3. ^ Göbel, Christian (2009). "Yongnian Zheng, De Facto Federalism in China: Reforms and Dynamics of Central-Local Relations". China Perspectives (2): 113–115. Retrieved 26 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Whiting, AS (1999). "Reviews on Discovering Chinese Nationalism in China Modernization, Identity, and International Relations". The China Quarterly. 48: 1062–1063. 
  5. ^ Dennis, Woodward (2005). "Globalization and State Transformation in China [Book Review]". The China Quarterly (53): 179–180. 
  6. ^ Damm, Jens. "Review on Technological Empowerment The Internet, State, and Society in China". Journal of Asian Studies. 67 (3): 1080–1081. doi:10.1017/s0021911808001435. 
  7. ^ Yan, Jian (2012). ""Wenhua chuancheng yu lishi chengji" (Cultural Tradition and Historical Legay: Review on Zheng Yongnian's Work on CCP)". Zhongguo Zhili Pinglun (China Governance Review). 1 (1): 56. 
  8. ^ Zeng, Ziyue (2011). "Zheng Yongnian: Jieshi zhongguo (Zheng Yongnian: Explaining China)". Nanfengchuang. 26 (14): 27. 
  9. ^ Zheng, Yongnian (2012). , Zhongguo Gaige Sanbuzou (China’s Reform in Three Stages). Shanghai: Eastern Press. 
  10. ^ Zheng, Yongnian (2012). "Weishenme Yaoti Zhongguomoshi" (Why We Must Talk About China Model). Hangzhou: Zhejiang People's Publication House. pp. 14–16. 
  11. ^ http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2010-03/01/content_9518847.htm
  12. ^ http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/09/what-now-for-the-rock-star-of-chinese-politics/
  13. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/world/asia/bo-xilai-accused-of-interfering-with-corruption-case.html?pagewanted=all
  14. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/world/asia/22iht-letter22.html?pagewanted=all
  15. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/12/world/asia/china-seeks-to-contain-fallout-from-scandal.html
  16. ^ ""Huayi Xuezhe Tan Daguojueqi" (Overseas Chinese Scholars on the Rise of Great Nations)". Financial Times Chinese. 2007-01-15.